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Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Musical  |  29 October 1937 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 393 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

A movie company is doing the Arabian Nights when a hobo enters their camp, falls asleep and dreams he's back in Baghdad as advisor to the Sultan. In a spoof of Rosevelt's New Deal, he ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Yusuf / Himself
...
Sultan
June Lang ...
Princess Miriam / Herself
...
Sultana / Louise Hovick (as Louise Hovick)
Raymond Scott and His Quintet ...
Themselves (as Raymond Scott and his Quintet)
...
Ishak / Broderick / Himself
Virginia Field ...
Dinah
Alan Dinehart ...
Boland
...
Prince Musah (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Maurice Cass ...
Omar - The Rug Maker
Warren Hymer ...
Tramp
Stanley Fields ...
Tramp
Paul Hurst ...
Captain
Sam Hayes ...
Radio Announcer
Edit

Storyline

A movie company is doing the Arabian Nights when a hobo enters their camp, falls asleep and dreams he's back in Baghdad as advisor to the Sultan. In a spoof of Rosevelt's New Deal, he organizes work programs, taxes the rich and abolishes the army. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

new deal | taxes | sultan | spoof | dream | See All (41) »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nuits d'Arabie  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two special-effects technicians--grip Harry Harsha and propman Philo Goodfriend--were killed when a machine that was being used to make the "flying carpet" look like it was flying jumped off its tracks and fell on them. See more »

Quotes

Sultan: I hope you'll enjoy what we've got - if you don't mind taking pot luck?
Ali Baba: Can I get a hot dog and a bottle of pop?
Sultan: Hot dog? Pop?
Ali Baba: That's the great national diet in America. I've just come from there.
Sultan: America? Where is that?
Ali Baba: A great open space between New York and Hollywood.
See more »

Connections

Version of Ali Baba (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Arabania
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Revel
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Raymond Scott and His Quintet
Danced by The Pearl Twins
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Delightful satire on Hollywood, politics, society and the New Deal

This is a very funny, very sophisticated comedy - a satire aimed by Hollywood at itself as well as American society, politics and the New Deal. Cantor is in top form as an autograph-seeking, movie star-loving hobo, who wanders onto a set and is cast as an extra. A knockout has him thinking he is in old Baghdad and in the grand tradition of "A Connecticut Yankee", he is hailed as the magician, Ali Baba, and proceeds to reform the ancient empire along the lines of American Democracy. The writing is excellent (surprising it didn't get an Oscar nom in this category)and the lines and situations are still very funny. This is one topical film that does not date. There is a marvelous special effects sequence with a flying carpet, involving a fight thereon and a sequence where it is set afire with Cantor hurrying back to safety as it burns away around him - had there been a special effects Oscar category in 1937 it would most surely have garnered a nom here as well. Louise Hovick (Gypsy Rose Lee) plays the Sultana- badly. Roland Young is a bemused Sultan and Tony Martin sings a few songs. Musical Numbers: Laugh Your Way Through Life; Swing Is Here To Stay; Vote For Honest Abe. This is one to seek out and treasure - highly enjoyable.


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