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The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Family, Fantasy | 25 December 1940 (USA)
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.

Writers:

(screen play and dialogue), (scenario by) (as Lajos Biro) | 1 more credit »
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Abu
...
Princess
John Justin ...
Ahmad
...
Miles Malleson ...
Sultan
Morton Selten ...
The Old King
Mary Morris ...
Halima / Six-Armed Lady
Bruce Winston ...
The Merchant
Hay Petrie ...
Astrologer
Adelaide Hall ...
Singer
Roy Emerton ...
Jailer
Allan Jeayes ...
The Story Teller
Edit

Storyline

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 <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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

Taglines:

THE WONDER of the Spider King...ten times human size ---yet Abu dares him to battle! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le voleur de Bagdad  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

As the Sultan of Basra flies over the city on his mechanical horse, power or telegraph lines are visible in the background. See more »

Quotes

Jaffar: Forget Ahmad. He's no longer blind. For a man with eyes the world is full of women. Only I am cursed, that I can see only you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in War Stories (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Truly "A Remant From The Golden Age"
28 October 2007 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

An utterly beautiful film, one of a handful of I saw when young that entranced me then and still do, in Thief's case the impression actually seems to get better with the passing of time. By the '90's my daughter and I had seen it many times on TV but still went to the pictures when it came to the local art-house cinema – when it had finished we came out starry eyed with heads full of poetry and Miklos Rozsa's stirring music wishing it could have lasted a couple of hours longer and thinking what a beautiful world it suddenly was again.

Idealistic Prince Ahmad wants to slum it amongst his people for a while to check things out, but evil Vizier Jaffar takes his chance to imprison him and seize the throne. After escaping with a little thief played by Sabu, Ahmad spots a Princess and they fall blindingly in love – along the way they have many adventures (although apparently not enough for Sabu!) and Love not only conquers but annihilates everything. The special effects must have been mesmerising in 1940, but Time has taken its toll and lessened their impact especially since digital cartoonery has taken over even live action – but they still hold up well compared against films like Superman from 40 years later. Anyway, if I'm requested to suspend disbelief in gargantuan guffawing genies, flying horses and carpets I also suspend disbelief in perfect special effects! Favourite bits: the dreamy scene in the sunlit garden when Ahmad reveals himself and Adelaide Hall's suitably romantic song; the stunning colours in the tent in the Land Of Legend – in fact, the stunning colours throughout; Sabu and Rozsa's triumphant but still wistful finale. Conrad Veidt played the baddie in two of the most incredible movie romances ever, this and Casablanca, and then died. John Justin and June Duprez were great in the leading roles of lovers, both of them slightly and refreshingly stilted, but the parts didn't call for a huge range of emotions: only pure love mattered.

There's a couple of mildly violent images in it, but rest assured this is a glorious feelgood experience with a 100% positive message, it's only a pity that nowadays little kids don't watch this instead of the porn they prefer. One of my Top 10 film favourites, I can't recommend this too much – may it be shown to the end of Time.


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Why is this underappreciated???? hapalife52
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Criterion release + Conrad Veidt kino_vamp
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