The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy  |  25 December 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 8,850 users  
Reviews: 97 user | 69 critic

After being tricked and cast out of Bagdad by the evil Jaffar, King Ahmad joins forces with a thief named Abu to reclaim his throne, the city, and the Princess he loves.


(screen play and dialogue), (scenario by) (as Lajos Biro) , 1 more credit »
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Airs Sat. Nov. 28, 2:15 AM on TCM

Won 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
John Justin ...
Miles Malleson ...
Morton Selten ...
The Old King
Mary Morris ...
Halima / Six-Armed Lady
Bruce Winston ...
The Merchant
Hay Petrie ...
Adelaide Hall ...
Roy Emerton ...
Allan Jeayes ...
The Story Teller


Prince Ahmad is the rightful King of Bagdad but he has been blinded and cast out as a beggar. Now a captive of the wicked Grand Vizier Jaffar he is cast into a dungeon where he meets Abu, the best thief in all Bagdad. Together they escape and set about a series of adventures that involve a Djinni in a bottle, a mechanical flying horse, an all-seeing magic jewel, a flying carpet and a beautiful princess. Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

thief | king | flying | princess | prince | See All (168) »


Dwarfing anything ever seen...a mountainous Genie piercing the clouds...flying horses winging over Jewelled cities...a magic carpet that spans the world like the swiftest bird. (original poster) See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le voleur de Bagdad  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When filming began in the US, the stricter censorship codes of the Hays Office there were applied. One of the most obvious differences between the scenes shot in the UK and those filmed in the USA is that the tops of the actresses' costumes were buttoned up all the way to satisfy the Hays Office. That kind of clue makes it easier to identify the US-shot scenes than trying to spot differences in the sets. See more »


At the end, when Ahmad is fighting the palace guards, one of his sword blades is snapped off at the handle, and he stands there without a weapon. After a brief cut, he is running on upward toward the princess and has a good sword in hand again, even though he has neither picked one up off the ground or wrested one from another guard. See more »


Abu: Where are we now ?
Genie: Above the roof... of the world
Abu: Has the world got a roof ?
Genie: Of course. Supported by seven pillars, and the seven pillars are set on the shoulders of a genie whose strength is beyond thought, and the genie stands on an eagle, and the eagle on a bull, and the bull on a fish, and the fish swims in the sea of eternity...
See more »


Hungarian Lullabye
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Lyrics by Zoltan Korda
Sung by Adelaide Hall
See more »

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User Reviews

Gosh, it's colourful
1 July 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

Like the Arabian Nights this film plays with storytelling conventions in order to make us feel that there's plot, plot and more plot: it opens with what appears to be the frame device of a blind man telling the story of his life, then plunges into a flashback which takes us right up to the blind man's present, where we discover that about half of the story is yet to come. (It must be admitted that the second half doesn't quite live up to the promise of the first.) Like the Arabian Nights it tries to cram as many Middle-Eastern folk motiffs as possible into the one work. A freed genie, a beautiful princess, a flying carpet, fantastic mechanical toys, sea voyages, a crowded marketplace, a wicked vizier, jewels ... I don't know why it all works, but it does. Everything is just so beautiful. The sets are beautiful. June Duprez is beautiful. Rozsa's score is especially beautiful. As usual, it sounds Hungarian; but somehow he manages to convince us that he's being Hungarian in a Persian way.

46 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why is this underappreciated???? hapalife52
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First Film I ever saw TwilightNinja
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