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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
Excuse me, who are these fellows? They're not even listening!
They're my new musicians from Africa.
What part of Africa?
I'm afraid they don't understand you. You see, they talk a strange tongue.
Se hable espanol? Capisce italian'?
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I can't see how this movie has it's current score of 8.1....
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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