In Bagdad, the young and naive Sultan Ahmad is curious about the behavior of his people. The Grand Vizier Jaffar convinces Ahmad to walk through the city disguised as a subject to know his people. Then he seizes the power telling to the inhabitants that Ahmad has died while he sends his army to arrest the Sultan that is thrown into the dungeons and sentenced to death. Ahmad befriends the young thief Abu that helps him to escape from the prison. They flee to Basra and plan to travel abroad with Sinbad. However Ahmad stumbles upon the beautiful princess and they fall in love with each other. But the evil Jaffar has also traveled to Basra to propose to marry the princess. When they see each other, Jaffar uses magic to blind Ahmad and turn Abu into a dog. Is their love doomed? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first assigned director, Ludwig Berger, wanted his old friend, 80-year-old Austrian operetta composer Oscar Straus, to compose the score. Miklós Rózsa only won the assignment by sitting in an office adjoining Berger's and playing his catchy melodies over and over. The Viennese waltzes that Straus had supplied were quickly dropped in favor of Rozsa's sweeping and colorful score. See more »
Despite taking place in the ancient Middle East, several scenes show local people speaking in Hindi, which is spoken in India. (Again, it's "Oriental" enough for a 1940s audience not to notice.) See more »
Strange how an unpleasant child can make a decent dog!
See more »
I first discovered Alexander Korda's (1940) Fantasy, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD in the early 1950's on a re-issue billed as "The Wonder Show of the Century!" Both Korda Technicolor films, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD and JUNGLE BOOK were shown on one never to be forgotten program. The music of Miklos Rozsa enhanced both films. The Technicolor in each was incredibly beautiful! THE THIEF OF BAGDAD has remained on my list as the best fantasy film ever made. As the years passed, it became more difficult to enjoy the film's color in the way it had originally been presented in. True Technicolor gave way to a Eastman Color process in the middle 1950's. Both Kino and Samuel Goldwyn reissued the film both theatrically and on video. But the Eastman Color prints were more pastel in nature and muted the vibrancy of the original Technicolor. The Laser Disc release of this title also has the pastel look to it -- nice, but not as it should be. NOW comes the M-G-M DVD (3 Dec 2002) issue. THE THIEF OF BAGDAD again has the wonderful Technicolor look to it on a DVD that is nothing short of STUNNING!!! It was so exciting to see it like this once again that after viewing the DVD once, I watched it a second time. The only "Extras" are a Spanish Dubbed version, Sub-Titles in both English & Spanish, and a beautifully done original theatrical trailer. Thank you M-G-M for this EXCEPTIONAL DVD release. Now, one can only hope that Korda's FOUR FEATHERS and a restored version of Korda's JUNGLE BOOK (to replace to poor public domain prints in circulation) will soon follow on DVD.
22 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?