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) »


GIGANTIC! The Wonder Picture of All Time! (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 »


Almost all of the characters mispronounce "Allah". The first syllable rhymes with "dull" or "null", but in the film, most pronounce it as rhyming with "pal" or "gal." See more »


Halima: Take my hand.
Ahmad: There is no need. My dog sees for me. He gives me more than he can ever receive - like all dogs.
See more »


The Sea
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Lyrics by Unknown
Performed by Unknown
See more »

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User Reviews

Enchanting fairy tale!
26 December 1999 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

"The Thief of Bagdad" is impressive in the shape of the evil magician Jaffar (Conrad Veidt). He plots with lies and magic spells to obtain the kingdom from its rightful ruler the young King Ahmad, and a gorgeous princess from her father...

He falls victim in the end, as all tyrants do (in books and legends) to love and of the common man whom he ignored, here embodied by the little thief (Sabu).

The armies of good and evil, black and white, are superbly realized in both visual and literary terms...

The script is poetic, simply and very beautiful... The costumes of the magician and his men rising and falling like the wings of black birds, attacking suddenly in the night to inflict destruction and create terror...

The radiant hero wears white turbans and robes, and his princess is dressed in pinks and pale blues...

For spectacular scenes it matched all that had gone before, while through its use of color, it brought to life a world such as had not seemed possible before...

With flying carpet and flying white horse, with a giant genie (excellently played by Rex Ingram), with evil wizards, and with the good acting of Sabu and Veidt, "The Thief of Bagdad" captures the quality and true atmosphere of the Arabian Nights...

The 1940 version remains the screen's finest fairy tale!

45 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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