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The Thief of Bagdad (1940) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

Abu throws tomatoes at his pursuers as he flees though Baghdad. These would have been unknown on Arabia at this time as they originated in the Americas.
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As the Sultan of Basra flies over the city on his mechanical horse, power or telegraph lines are visible in the background.
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Character error 

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."
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Continuity 

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.
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When the third wish is made and Ahmad disappears, the All-Seeing Eye which was in Abu's hands disappears as he searches for Ahmad.
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The ropes held by the hand-maidens swinging the Princess back and forth in the swing have too much slack in them to really accomplish the task.
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In the Land of Legend, the Old King says that he will give two signs of kingship to Abu the thief. Abu is then given three items: a magic crossbow, a quiver, and a small, ornate box, like a jewelry box. No mention is made in the dialogue of this box, but it can be seen in Abu's right hand as he talks to the Old King, and also on the flying carpet as Abu flies away to rescue his friends. Apparently the crossbow and quiver were only one, not two, of the Old King's signs of kingship, and the other sign was the mysterious box, whose magical powers and purpose were lost on the cutting room floor.
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At the end, when Ahmad is fighting the palace guards, one of his sword blades is snapped off at the handle, and he stands there without a weapon. After a brief cut, he is running on upward toward the princess and has a good sword in hand again, even though he has neither picked one up off the ground or wrested one from another guard.
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Errors in geography 

Despite taking place in the ancient Middle East, several scenes show local people speaking in Hindi, which is spoken in India. (Again, it's "Oriental" enough for a 1940s audience not to notice.)
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The Sultan of Basra's palace has many decorations in the form of Hindu iconography, which would be found in India, but not in the ancient Middle East. (It was considered "Oriental" enough to pass by a 1940s audience, but stands out for a modern audience.)
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

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.
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Plot holes 

When Jaffar captures Ahmad and the Princess near the end, he announces "Tomorrow morning they will die the death of a thousand cuts", yet the next morning, only Ahmad is about to be executed, and instead of dying the death of a thousand cuts, he is about to be beheaded.
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Revealing mistakes 

The wires used to suspend the flying carpet are visible in the last scene of Abu on the carpet. The film was originally shot in three strip Technicolor, with prints made using a dye transfer process that resulted in a slight reduction in overall resolution. This reduction in resolution hid the wires in original prints, making them invisible. Modern prints, especially on Hi-Def DVDs, have restored the resolution making the support wires plainly visible.
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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.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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