The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy  |  25 December 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 8,846 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) »


THE MOST ROMANTIC ROGUE OF ALL TIME! (original print ad - all caps) 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?


Most of the 18 riders who clear the market prior to the Princess's procession are women. This may have been because so many men had been taken into the British armed forces. See more »


When the third wish is made and Ahmad disappears, the All-Seeing Eye which was in Abu's hands disappears as he searches for Ahmad. See more »


Jaffar: Strange how an unpleasant child can make a decent dog!
See more »


Referenced in Return to the Edge of the World (1978) See more »


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

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User Reviews

3 December 2002 | by (Salt Lake City) – See all my reviews

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.

20 of 22 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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This is a good remake, but I think I missed one thing about the movie. kellyleighcrutcher
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