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The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy  |  25 December 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 8,764 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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Title: The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
John Justin ...
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Mary Morris ...
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Bruce Winston ...
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Hay Petrie ...
Adelaide Hall ...
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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?


This is the first movie to ever use greens screens. See more »


Abu, who we know to be a Muslim, is shown requesting and eating sausages, even though the consumption of pork is very strictly forbidden in Islam. However, the sausage may not be made from pork. See more »


Princess: You don't look wicked. Are you a good Djinni?
Ahmad: Not too good. Very good Djinni are just as tiresome as very good men.
See more »


Featured in Arena: A Pretty British Affair (1981) See more »


I Want To Be A Sailor
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Lyrics by Robert Vansittart
Additional Lyrics by William Kernell
Performed by Sabu
See more »

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User Reviews

Probably the best "Arabian Nights" film ever made.
6 March 1999 | by (Mountain View, Ca.) – See all my reviews

Most of the genre of "Arabian Nights" films were silly, cheesy, low-budget things, like "The Prince Who Was A Thief" starring Tony Curtis as an Arabian prince with a Brooklyn accent. This is an exception: A genuinely magical film, one of the best fantasy films ever made.

A beautiful film made in the most glowing of technicolors, it tells the simple story of a boy thief (Sabu) meeting a dethroned prince (the gorgeous John Justin), and helping him defeat the wonderfully evil usurper Conrad Veidt. Like "The Wizard of Oz" made the year before, the performances are so good that you believe in what you see on the screen. Flying carpets and horses, towering genies, dancing idols, it all seems perfectly believable and exiting. A classic.

55 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why is this underappreciated???? hapalife52
Similarities to Wizard of Oz iregaa
First Film I ever saw TwilightNinja
Ebert has Added Thief to his Greatest Films List theFoss
Why is there no Director's credit on the print? Stuart Gardner
This is a good remake, but I think I missed one thing about the movie. kellyleighcrutcher
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