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 director, Ludwig Berger, was dismissed because of creative differences with producer Alexander Korda. Berger envisioned the picture as a lyrical black-and-white fantasy film, while Korda believed that it should be a big, bold epic in color. Korda's brother, Vincent Korda, had made some color sketches proved to be the final tipping point that convinced Alexander the film should be shot in color and that another director should be brought on to fulfill his vision. See more »
When Ahmad is to be executed, his head is held down with a rope to steady it. But when the executioner raises his sword the next shots of Ahmad show that the rope has disappeared. See more »
Now out of my way, you masters of a thousand fleas. Allah be with you, but I doubt it.
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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.
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