8.1/10
401
8 user 5 critic

Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical | 29 October 1937 (USA)
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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Yusuf / Tony Martin
...
Sultan
June Lang ...
Princess Miriam / June Lang
...
Sultana / Louise Hovick (as Louise Hovick)
Raymond Scott and His Quintet ...
Raymond Scott Quintete
...
Ishak / Broderick
Virginia Field ...
Dinah
...
Boland
...
Prince Musah (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Maurice Cass ...
Omar - The Rug Maker
...
Tramp
Stanley Fields ...
Tramp
...
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 »
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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)

Color:

(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original release prints of this film used a then-revolutionary three-tone tinting process utilizing sepia and copper. Blue and orange mixed with copper were used for night sequences while sepia, amber and copper were used for daytime scenes. 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 The Treasure Cave (1911) See more »

Soundtracks

A Hot Time in the Old Town
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by Theo. A. Metz
Played when the election results are announced
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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