The Thief of Bagdad (1924) - News Poster


This Exclusive Book Excerpt Offers a Rare Glimpse Inside the Life of Silent Film Superstar Douglas Fairbanks

This Exclusive Book Excerpt Offers a Rare Glimpse Inside the Life of Silent Film Superstar Douglas Fairbanks
Silent film superstar Douglas Fairbanks was an absolute charmer. He was the top male star of his generation, the maker of some of the greatest films of his era: "The Thief of Bagdad," "Robin Hood," and "The Mark of Zorro." Irrepressibly vivacious, he spent his life leaping over and into things, from his early Broadway successes to his marriage to the great screen actress Mary Pickford to the way he made Hollywood his very own town. The inventor of the swashbuckler, he wasn’t only an actor—he all but directed and produced his movies, and in founding United Artists with Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D. W. Griffith, he challenged the studio system. But listing his accomplishments is one thing and telling his story another. Tracey Goessel has made the latter her life’s work, and with exclusive access to Fairbanks’s love letters to Pickford, she brilliantly illuminates how
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Douglas Fairbanks: extraordinary life of Hollywood founding father

It’s time for a reappraisal of the movie star who swashbuckled in Zorro, duelled exuberantly in Robin Hood and soared magnificently in The Thief of Bagdad

Hunky, gregarious and with a dazzling smile, Douglas Fairbanks was apparently born to be a movie star. Never lacking in ambition and enthusiasm, he also became one of Hollywood’s founding fathers. In 1919, together with his best friend Charlie Chaplin, his bride-to-be Mary Pickford, and director Dw Griffith, he started the United Artists studio, which is still, despite some recent uncertainties, a Hollywood player.

Related: The silent-era film stars who risked life and limb doing their own film stunts

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From Robinson's Toyboy to Intrepid Drug Smuggler: Fairbanks Jr on TCM

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ca. 1935. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was never as popular as his father, silent film superstar Douglas Fairbanks, who starred in one action-adventure blockbuster after another in the 1920s (The Mark of Zorro, Robin Hood, The Thief of Bagdad) and whose stardom dates back to the mid-1910s, when Fairbanks toplined a series of light, modern-day comedies in which he was cast as the embodiment of the enterprising, 20th century “all-American.” What this particular go-getter got was screen queen Mary Pickford as his wife and United Artists as his studio, which he co-founded with Pickford, D.W. Griffith, and Charles Chaplin. Now, although Jr. never had the following of Sr., he did enjoy a solid two-decade-plus movie career. In fact, he was one of the few children of major film stars – e.g., Jane Fonda, Liza Minnelli, Angelina Jolie, Michael Douglas, Jamie Lee Curtis – who had successful film careers of their own.
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Blu-ray Review: 'The Thief of Bagdad'

  • CineVue
★★★★☆In the early 1920s, Douglas Fairbanks was transformed from comedy star into swash-buckling heartthrob via The Mark of Zorro (1920), The Three Musketeers (1921) and Robin Hood (1922). Arguably one of the high-notes amongst his sensational ripping yarns is 1924's The Thief of Bagdad, a reworking of the Arabian Nights that gave ample opportunity for his charisma to burst from the screen. His performance is complemented by lavish production design and unparalleled special effects in what was one of the decade's most expensive features. Now released on a terrific blu-ray transfer as part of the Masters of Cinema collection, this silent fantasy epic is well worth revisiting.
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Learning From The Masters Of Cinema: Raoul Walsh's The Thief Of Bagdad

Douglas Fairbanks, "the first King of Hollywood", is today remembered as the star of numerous silent swashbuckling epics, including The Mark of Zorro, The Three Musketeers and Robin Hood. However, he attained the popularity and industry clout to get such projects off the ground (which were out-of-favour with the public at the time) making his name as a funny man in a string of comedies. A founding member of United Artists, and the very first president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Fairbanks and then-wife Mary Pickford were Hollywood's first golden couple and at the peak of their popularity and power, when he set his sights on his most ambitious fantasy adventure yet, The Thief of Bagdad.Loosely inspired by the collection of...

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Masters Of Cinema's New The Thief Of Bagdad Blu-ray Looks Fit For A Sultan

We make no secret of our love for Eureka Entertainment's boutique label The Masters of Cinema Series here at Twitch, and when it comes to Blu-ray releases of some of the greatest works of silent cinema ever made, they leave all their competitors in the dust.A few weeks back, Eureka announced the titles that will be coming to the collection between now and the end of the year, and arguably the most exciting inclusion was the release of the Douglas Fairbanks starring 1924 version of The Thief Of Bagdad. One of the biggest hits of Hollywood's silent era, this swashbuckling fantasy epic directed by Raoul Walsh was something of a pet project for Fairbanks, and can now be experienced in a sparkling new 1080p presentation...

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182 days 'til Oscar

Which power couple will be obsessing over in just six months time? The 87th Oscars approach and as long as the movies have been around there have been fabulously wealthy and glamorous movie star couples. Take Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks for instance, the original celebrity power couple. If you must know (I know you are too shy to ask) my favorite films of theirs are His: The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and Hers: Stella Maris (1918) though admittedly I have many more left to see.

Fairbanks & Pickford were married in 1920 when both were superstars, he the original Zorro and she Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and other big hits. He famously gave Pickford "The Star of Bombay," a 182-carat sapphire which was not actually from Bombay but from Sri Lanka. She later bequeathed it to the Smithsonian where it remains. There's your priceless (okay, $½ million in today's dollars) piece of trivia for the day.
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Movies This Week: February 28-March 6, 2014

The next few weeks of specialty screenings are going to be directly impacted by the SXSW Film Festival, but there are definitely some unique events on the horizon that you need to know about. We've already covered this weekend's Noir City festival at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz in great detail here. It's an incredible opportunity to catch 10 rare film noir titles in 35mm, many in newly restored prints. There isn't much else going on at the Ritz for the next few weeks due to SXSW, but they will have select screenings of 12 Years A Slave and The Wolf Of Wall Street for those of you who still need to catch up.

The Alamo Slaughter Lane has a screening on Saturday afternoon of Medora, a sports documentary that played at SXSW last March about an underdog basketball team. Veronica Mars fans will want to head to the Alamo Village on Monday
See full article at Slackerwood »

"Thief of Bagdad" Snags an Unnecessary HD Conversion

Most of my inner cinephile rejoices at any film distributor who takes it upon themselves to make the effort to track down prints of classic films to give them an HD conversion and help them survive the transition into an increasingly digital world. That said, most of the newly announced Cohen library of classic and contemporary films will go a long way towards making it a reputable distributor of an ilk similar to Criterion Collection, but part of the challenge inherent in that task is recognizing when a film's print doesn't warrant the Blu-ray format due to such low abysmal quality, like with The Thief of Bagdad. A classic adventure epic  from the silent era with Douglas Fairbanks as its lead, The Thief of Bagdad is an entertaining film with a story strong enough to keep audiences watching despite the lack of spoken dialogue, unfortunately, it's seen far better days
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Jude Law as Douglas Fairbanks: Good Idea?

Jude Law as Douglas Fairbanks? It’s hard to imagine the cool and aloof (and blue-eyed blond) Law playing Fairbanks, the ever-smiling, ever-bouncing, swarthy hero of silent era blockbusters such as The Three Musketeers, Robin Hood, and The Thief of Bagdad. But stranger things have happened: I’d never have imagined Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, but that didn’t prevent Williams from earning excellent reviews, critics’ awards, and an Oscar nod for her performance in Simon CurtisMy Week with Marilyn. Anyhow, according to Forbes magazine, Poverty Row Entertainment producers Jennifer DeLia and Julie Pacino (Al Pacino’s daughter) want Jude Law to play opposite Lily Rabe‘s Mary Pickford in their upcoming Pickford biopic, which DeLia is set to direct. Fairbanks and Pickford, the King and Queen of Hollywood, were married in 1920. It was fairy-tale marriage — at least as far as the fan magazines were concerned. Away from the cameras and the press,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Jude Law Wanted For Douglas Fairbanks Role In Mary Pickford Biopic

Just a few weeks ago, we reported that producers Jennifer DeLia and Julie Pacino were working on the upcoming biopic of silent era movie star Mary Pickford. They’ve now secured a leading lady — Lily Rabe (American Horror Story) — and spent their time in Cannes searching for actors to play the various men in her life.

According to Forbes (via ThePlaylist), the producers have been swept away by Jude Law, whom they want to play the role of Pickford‘s husband and silent movie star Douglas Fairbanks. He was known for playing his swashbuckling roles in films such as, The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood as well as The Mark of Zorro. The pair were married in 1920, until their divorce in 1936. Law will just need to add a thin mustache in order to resemble the actor who was once dubbed “The King of Hollywood.”

Based on Eileen Whitford‘s biography
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TCM Film Fest Wrap-up

Before attending the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival, the question in the back of my mind was, "With all the classic repertory theaters in Los Angeles, and all the chances to see classic films in 35mm or even 70mm on the big screen, what can TCM offer that the other screening series can't?"

The answer, I soon discovered, is that TCM offers a real festival experience. Attending only two sessions, I spent over 12 hours going from screening to screening, watching movies, studying the schedule closely and making hard decisions about what to see, all without a single break. And though I never found time to eat, at the day's end I emerged with the pleasant, gorged feeling experienced after any satisfying film festival.

The most incredible event was the program titled "A Trip to the Moon and Other Trips through Time, Color and Space." I was attracted to the screening by
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Historic Mary Pickford Building Destroyed

Mary Pickford Building: The Lot aka Pickford-Fairbanks Studios Los Angeles just got uglier. Despite protests, the Mary Pickford Building on West Hollywood's The Lot has been destroyed by its current owner, the Cim Group. (See video below.) The Lot, as previously reported on this site, was built in the 1910s, when it was known as The Hampton Studios. Silent-era superstars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks purchased the place, which they renamed the Pickford-Fairbanks Studios. That's where Pickford's and Fairbanks' 1920s blockbusters — Robin Hood, Rosita, Sparrows, and The Thief of Bagdad among them — were shot. Renamed the United Artists Studios, it also became the workplace for the likes of Charles Chaplin, D.W. Griffith, Norma Talmadge, Constance Talmadge, Gloria Swanson, and others. Independent producer Samuel Goldwyn also worked on the lot, where he made most of his later films: Frank Tuttle's Roman Scandals with Eddie Cantor, Titanic's Gloria Stuart, and
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Minnelli, Grey, Reynolds to Attend 2012 TCM Classic Movie Festival

Minnelli, Grey, Reynolds to Attend 2012 TCM Classic Movie Festival
Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Debbie Reynolds and "Baby Peggy" Diana Serra Cary will be attending the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival, scheduled to take place in Hollywood from April 12-15.  Film noir actresses Peggy Cummins, Rhonda Fleming and Marsha Hunt will also be on hand. This year's TCM Festival (which costs a pretty penny to attend) presents the North American premiere of a 75th anniversary restoration of Renoir's 1937 war drama "Grand Illusion," as well as a screening of the Douglas Fairbanks silent film, "The Thief of Bagdad," accompanied live by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. The festival will kick off with a gala (and world...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Debbie Reynolds Set For TCM Classic Film Festival In April

Passes Now on Sale Now for Four-Day Festival,

Coming to Hollywood April 12-15, 2012

Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Debbie Reynolds and “Baby PeggyDiana Serra Cary, along with film noir leading ladies Peggy Cummins, Rhonda Fleming and Marsha Hunt are the latest stars scheduled to appear at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival.

Also announced today, the festival will feature the North American premiere of a new 75th anniversary restoration of Jean Renoir’s powerful Pow drama Grand Illusion (1937), widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. And the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra will provide a live musical accompaniment for a screening of the silent Douglas Fairbanks fantasy-adventure The Thief of Bagdad (1924).

Minnelli and Grey are slated to join TCM’s own Robert Osborne to kick off the four-day, star-studded event with a gala opening-night world premiere screening of the 40th anniversary restoration Cabaret (1971), the film for which the
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Ready For My Close Up: Anna May Wong

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Throughout summer it has been difficult to ignore the recent Chinoiserie trend in stores and magazines, kick-started by the opulent Louis Vuitton show in Paris and merged effortlessly into autumn by Paul Smith. Cheongsam collars and qipao slits aside, this new-found interest in the East may have been partly triggered by China’s growing appetite for high-end goods, which despite recent economic setbacks, has left Western luxury brands competing for a share of this very sizable market.

This obsession with the ‘Orient’ has also seen a proliferation of Asian models on catwalks and throughout editorial spreads, which has courted controversy for some publications and raises all manner of questions regarding ethnicity and standards of beauty. Whilst researching this trend it becomes impossible not to contemplate the
See full article at Clothes on Film »

Tab Hunter Turns 80: Ride The Wild Surf, Battle Cry on TCM

Tab Hunter turns 80 today. In his honor, Turner Classic Movies is showing five of his films. The first of the batch, Phil Karlson's Western Gunman's Walk, is on right now. Hunter and The Time Tunnel's James Darren play rancher Van Heflin's sons. Next is Ride the Wild Surf, starring Hunter and teen idol Fabian as a couple of dudes riding waves in Hawaii. Featuring some cool surfing footage and tons of corny dialogue, Ride the Wild Surf is a guilty pleasure. In his highly readable autobiography, Tab Hunter: Confidential, Hunter says his brother Walt — a former surfer — was his inspiration for the role. (Not that Hunter actually had to do any surfing.) He adds that director Don Taylor (Elizabeth Taylor's husband-to-be in Father of the Bride) had to step away for a week due to a death in the family, so Phil Karlson was brought in as a temporary replacement.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Win Anna May Wong Titles – Java Head & Tiger Bay on DVD

To mark the release of the Anna Wong double bill including Java Head and Tiger Bay on DVD now, Optimum Home Entertainment have been given three copies to give away!

Anna May Wong (1905 – 1961) was the first Asian American movie star to become an international star. Her career spanned over four decades. She started in Technicolor’s first two-strip color movie, The Toll of the Sea (1922) and was chosen by Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. to be in The Thief of Bagdad (1924), and co-starred with Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express (1932). Both Hollywood and Europe proclaimed her exoticism and she became known for her fluid grace and languid sexuality on screen.

Java Head (1934) – Directed by Thorold Dickinson & J. Walter Ruben and starring Anna May Wong, Elizabeth Allan and John Loder

A heavy-breathing melodrama of the White Cargo school, Java Head was adapted from the novel by Joseph Hergesheimer.

The port city of Bristol, England,
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DVD Double Feature - Anna May Wong in Java Head & Tiger Bay (1934)

It’s taken pretty much for granted in modern cinema that, for a Chinese film role, you cast a Chinese actor. Just as leading men no longer black up in boot polish to play Othello, actresses long ago stopped painting their eyes slanted to look Chinese. It’s daft, it’s unconvincing, and to the actors turned away for being ‘too Chinese for screen’, it’s racist.

In Anna May Wong’s day though, this was standard practice. In spite of this idotiic, pig-headed racism shown to her by studio bosses, Wong carved out an enviable career for herself, becoming the world’s first Asian-American star. She cut her acting teeth playing alongside the inimitable Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Bagdad (1924); Shanghai Express (1932) saw her upstage Marlene Dietrich in the slinky seductress stakes. After all that, Hollywood’s ridiculous Hays Code forbade her to share an on-screen kiss with
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

DVD Giveaway - Java Head and Tiger Bay

June 20th sees the release of the Anna May Wong double-bill of 1934's Java Head and Tiger Bay on DVD, and to celebrate Flickering Myth have three copies to give away to our readers courtesy of Optimum Releasing.

The first Asian American movie star to become an international star, Anna May Wong's career spanned over four decades, starting in Technicolor’s first two-strip color movie, The Toll of the Sea (1922) and was chosen by Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. to be in The Thief of Bagdad (1924), and co-starred with Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express (1932).

Read on for the full synopsis and details of how to enter...

"Java Head: The port city of Bristol, England, in the 1800s is home to Java Head, a sailing ship line company. The owner has two sons. One, a handsome seafarer, is in love with a local girl, but cannot marry her due to a long-running feud between their fathers.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

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