The caliph of Baghdad must go into hiding with a group of traveling performers when his brother usurps the throne. Both brothers desire a beautiful dancing girl, who is torn between power and true love.
Dancer Sherazade was told by the stars that she will become wife of the kalif in Bagdad. She tells Kamar, brother of kalif Haroun. He planned a coup d'etat, which failed at first, but supported by the wasir he finally succeeds. Haroun is injured and gets help from Ahmad's actor troupe, where he is nursed by Sherazade, who doesn't recognise him. When she hears that Kamar is looking for her she goes to him, but is sold with the complete troupe of actors to slavery. They're able to escape, but Haroun is still in danger. To save him, Sherazade agrees to poison Kamar, but Haroun tries to establish his rulership first. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
Provided you really don't know or want to know the real tale of Scheherazade, then you'll no doubt enjoy this film. The actual book, "The Arabian Nights" (also known as "The Book of One Thousand and One Nights"), was supposedly written by Princess Scheherazade and consists of many short stories she supposedly invented each night in order to save her life from her crazy husband. In this movie there is no reference to this and apart from some of the names of characters from the book (such as Sinbad and Ali Baba), there isn't much similarity between them. Additionally, if you think too much and question the silliness of it all, you'll probably hate the film since it is purely an escapist style film--not too much unlike a movie serial condensed into 90 minutes. As for me, I enjoyed the silly escapism and learned to ignore all the mistakes in the film and the rather limp love affair between Maria Montez and Jon Hall . It was nearly non-stop action and fun--complete with perhaps a bit too much slapstick provided by the very large stomach of Billy Gilbert. However, I did enjoy the references to Sinbad and Ali Baba--especially because over and over, Ali (John Qualen) would grab every lamp he found and rubbed it furiously hoping for a genie. Also, it was nice to see Shemp Howard in one of his many appearances before going on to replace his brother, Curley, as a Stooge.
If you liked this silly adventure film, try watching Hall and Montez in COBRA WOMAN or Sabu in THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD--both of which are better than ARABIAN NIGHTS.
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