IMDb > The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
The Thief of Bagdad
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The Thief of Bagdad (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   7,830 votes »
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Down 30% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Miles Malleson (screen play and dialogue)
Lajos Biró (scenario by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Thief of Bagdad on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
One Thousand and One Sights from One Thousand and One Nights See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(49 articles)
User Reviews:
Still a Solidly Wonderful Fantasy After Sixty-Plus Years See more (91 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Conrad Veidt ... Jaffar

Sabu ... Abu

June Duprez ... Princess
John Justin ... Ahmad

Rex Ingram ... Djinn
Miles Malleson ... Sultan
Morton Selten ... The Old King
Mary Morris ... Halima
Bruce Winston ... The Merchant
Hay Petrie ... Astrologer
Adelaide Hall ... Singer
Roy Emerton ... Jailer
Allan Jeayes ... The Story Teller
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frederick Burtwell ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Joseph Cozier ... Man Selling Fish (uncredited)
Robert Greig ... Man of Basra (uncredited)
Henry Hallett ... Citizen (uncredited)
Miki Hood ... Citizen (uncredited)

Glynis Johns ... Princess's maid (uncredited)
Alexander Laine ... Urchin in Bagdad Market (uncredited)
Cleo Laine ... Urchin in Bagdad Market (uncredited)
Sylvia Laine ... Urchin in Bagdad Market (uncredited)
Spoli Mills ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)

Leslie Phillips ... Urchin in Bagdad Market (uncredited)
Norman Pierce ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
John Salew ... Fish Peddler (uncredited)
Mark Stone ... Masrur (uncredited)
Frank Tickle ... Citizen (uncredited)
Otto Wallen ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Ben Williams ... Citizen (uncredited)

Directed by
Ludwig Berger 
Michael Powell 
Tim Whelan 
Alexander Korda (uncredited)
Zoltan Korda (uncredited)
William Cameron Menzies (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Miles Malleson (screen play and dialogue)

Lajos Biró (scenario by) (as Lajos Biro)

Miklós Rózsa (story) (as Miklos Rozsa)

Produced by
Alexander Korda .... producer
Zoltan Korda .... associate producer
William Cameron Menzies .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Miklós Rózsa  (as Miklos Rozsa)
 
Film Editing by
Charles Crichton (film editor)
 
Production Design by
Vincent Korda (production designed in color by)
 
Art Direction by
Vincent Korda (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
John Armstrong (costumes designed by)
Oliver Messel (costumes designed by)
Marcel Vertès  (as Marcel Vertes)
 
Makeup Department
Stuart Freeborn .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Norbert A. Myles .... makeup artist: Rex Ingram (uncredited)
Guy Pearce .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Tom Shenton .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
David B. Cunynghame .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Geoffrey Boothby .... associate director
Charles David .... associate director
Jack Clayton .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
W. Percy Day .... scenic backgrounds (as Percy Day)
Ferdinand Bellan .... associate art director (uncredited)
W. Percy Day .... associate art director (uncredited)
William Cameron Menzies .... associate art director (uncredited)
Frederick Pusey .... associate art director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
A.W. Watkins .... sound director
John W. Mitchell .... sound assistant (uncredited)
Jack Whitney .... special sound effects (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Lawrence W. Butler .... special effects director (as Lawrence Butler)
Tom Howard .... special effects (uncredited)
Johnny Mills .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Peter Ellenshaw .... assistant matte artist (uncredited)
Wally Veevers .... matte artist (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Osmond Borradaile .... associate photographer
Georges Périnal .... chief photographer (as George Perinal)
Henty Henty-Creer .... camera operator: exteriors (uncredited)
Peter Hopkinson .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Robert Krasker .... camera operator (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera: Technicolor (uncredited)
Bill Wall .... chief electrician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
William Hornbeck .... supervising editor
Peter R. Hunt .... associate editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... musical director
Miklós Rózsa .... songs by (as Miklos Rozsa)
 
Other crew
Natalie Kalmus .... technicolor director
Alexander Korda .... presenter
André De Toth .... production assistant (uncredited)
Ralph Faulkner .... fight choreographer (uncredited)
Wendy Toye .... dance instructor: mechanical doll dance (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
106 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Australia:PG (TV rating) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-8 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1946) | Norway:A | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:Not Rated | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #02749) | West Germany:6

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Vivien Leigh was originally cast in the role of the Princess, but when, in late 1938, she won the part of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939). Producer Alexander Korda gave the role to young up-and-coming starlet June Duprez.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: When Abu is climbing the spiderweb we can see a skeleton. Its skull has a division line that runs through the parietal periphery and which reveals it as a dummy.See more »
Quotes:
Astrologer:But she loves the blind man.
Jaffar:Do you call the lisping of two children in the garden love? Love she has yet to learn and I have yet to teach her.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in War Stories (2006) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Hungarian LullabyeSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
54 out of 62 people found the following review useful.
Still a Solidly Wonderful Fantasy After Sixty-Plus Years, 15 February 2004

The story of the boy thief of Bagdad (as it was once spelled) has attracted filmmakers from Raoul Walsh in 1924, who starred Douglas Fairbanks in the first, silent, rendering of "Thief of Bagdad," to less imposing, more recent attempts. The best, however, remains 1940's version which for its time was a startling, magical panoply of top quality special effects. Those effects still work their charm.

No less than six directors are listed for the technicolor movie which starred Sabu as the boy thief, Abu, John Justin as the dreamily in love deposed monarch, Ahmad and June Duprez as the lovely princess sought by Ahmad and pursued by the evil vizier, Jaffar, played by a sinister Conrad Veidt. The giant genie is ably acted by Rex Ingram.

Ahmad is treacherously deposed by Jaffar and when later arrested by that traitorous serpent, he and the boy, Abu, suffer what are clearly incapacitating fates. Ahmad is rendered blind and Abu becomes a lovable mutt. Their adventures through the gaily decorated Hollywood backlots are fun but the special effects make this film work.

Two men were responsible for everything from a magic flying carpet to the gargantuan genie who pops out of a bottle with a tornado-like black swirl: Lawrence W. Butler and Tom Howard. (Howard, incidentally, did the special effects for the 1961 version of this film. Both men had long and distinguished careers in technical wizardry.)

Duprez is outstandingly lovely while little called on for serious acting. Justin's Ahmad projects a driven but dreamy romanticism untouched by erotic impulses. Sabu is really the central actor in many scenes and he's very good. For a movie meant for kids as well as adults there's a fair amount of violence but of the bloodless kind. Still, I don't think anyone under eight ought to see "Thief of Bagdad."

This film makes periodic appearances on TV but today my teenage son and I saw it in a theater with quite a few youngsters present. It was great to see computer-besotted kids in an affluent community respond with cheers and applause to special effects that must seem primitive to them.

"Thief of Bagdad" is a pre-war Hollywood classic from a time when strong production values often resulted in enduringly attractive and important releases. This is one of the best of its kind.

9/10.

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