8.0/10
439
10 user 10 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 »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Yusuf / Tony Martin
...
...
...
Sultana / Louise Hovick (as Louise Hovick)
Raymond Scott and His Quintet ...
Raymond Scott Quintete
...
Ishak / Broderick
...
Dinah
...
Boland
...
Prince Musah (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Maurice Cass ...
Omar - The Rug Maker
...
Tramp
...
Tramp
...
Captain
Sam Hayes ...
Radio Announcer
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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:

remake | new deal | taxes | sultan | spoof | See All (42) »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nuits d'Arabie  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more 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

Eddie Cantor appears as himself in the film's final sequence with Tony Martin. See more »

Goofs

The story is set in tenth-century Baghdad but reference is made to the sultan's being the ruler of Arabia. Baghdad is in Iraq or, as it would have been known then, Mesopotamia. See more »

Quotes

Ali Baba: Excuse me, who are these fellows? They're not even listening!
Sultan: They're my new musicians from Africa.
Ali Baba: Africa?
[to musicians]
Ali Baba: What part of Africa?
Sultan: I'm afraid they don't understand you. You see, they talk a strange tongue.
Ali Baba: [to musicians] Parlez-vous Fran├žais?
[No response]
Ali Baba: Se hable espanol? Capisce italian'?
[No response]
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Twilight in Turkey
(1937)
Written by Raymond Scott
Performed by Raymond Scott and His Quintet (uncredited)
Danced by The Pearl Twins
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I can't see how this movie has it's current score of 8.1....
18 December 2016 | by See all my reviews

Eddie Cantor made some wonderful films. My favorite, by far, is "Forty Little Mothers". The movie is sweet and charming...and well worth seeing as are many of his other films ("Thanks Your Lucky Stars"). But he also made a few that are very, very dated and when you see them today they lack an important quality of his better films....they aren't funny. This is definitely the case with "Ali Baba Goes to Town"...a rather unfunny comedy which, inexplicably, has an overall score of 8.1. Why? I have no idea as it's dated and many of the jokes fall very flat.

When the film begins, Al (Cantor) is a hobo traveling by rail to Hollywood. Once there he gets a job as a movie extra on an Ali Baba-like movie. But when he takes too many pain killers, he awakens in ancient Baghdad and everyone thinks he's Ali Baba. He soon becomes buddies with the Sultan (Roland Young) and convinces the guy to enact a lot of American and New Deal reforms which end up backfiring badly. And, as a result, Ali (Cantor) must run or lose his head.

This is a great example of a film that played well in the day but is terribly dated today. All of Cantor's remarks about politics and the Roosevelt administration were fine in 1937 but today they just seem unfunny. And, speaking of unfunny, Cantor's black-face routine is also unfortunately in this picture and is cringe-worthy. And, while some folks absolutely love it (you can only assume this with an 8.1 rating), I thought it among Cantor's worst. Unfunny and dated...badly. About the only part I liked was at the movie premier at the end...when Al AND Eddie Cantor appeared. That was cute....but otherwise...meh.


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