Hafiz, a rascally beggar on the periphery of the court of Baghdad, schemes to marry his daughter to royalty and to win the heart of the queen of the castle himself.



(play), (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Kismet (1955)
Adventure | Musical | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A roguish poet is given the run of the scheming Wazir's harem while pretending to help him usurp the young caliph.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Stanley Donen
Stars: Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Dolores Gray
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The star-crossed desert romance of a cloistered woman and a renegade monk.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Charles Boyer, Tilly Losch
Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

On the eve of World War II (1939) English officer Ralph Denistoun is in Nazi Germany on an espionage mission to recover a poison gas formula from Prof. Krosigk. He is helped by Lydia and ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Ray Milland, Marlene Dietrich, Murvyn Vye
Seven Sinners (1940)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Bijou, a saloon singer with a reputation for inciting brouhahas, is one of several deportees from a south Pacific island to arrive at another U.S. protectorate, Boni Komba. She becomes very... See full summary »

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, John Wayne, Albert Dekker
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A loose woman rediscovers a former lover during a dangerous train ride to Shanghai.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong
Manpower (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Hank McHenry and Johnny Marshall work on a road crew for the power company. In a freak accident Hank is injured and is promoted to foreman of the gang. One night Hank and Johnny meet Fay ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, George Raft
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Anything can happen during a weekend at New York's Waldorf-Astoria: a glamorous movie star meets a world-weary war correspondent and mistakes him for a jewel thief; a soldier learns that ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

During World War II, all the studios put out "all-star" vehicles which featured virtually every star on the lot--often playing themselves--in musical numbers and comedy skits, and were ... See full summary »

Directors: A. Edward Sutherland, John Rawlins
Stars: George Raft, Vera Zorina, Grace McDonald
Pittsburgh (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Charles 'Pittsburgh' Markham rides roughshod over his friends, his lovers, and his ideals in his trek toward financial success in the Pittsburgh steel industry, only to find himself ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, John Wayne, Randolph Scott
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In occupied Berlin, an army captain is torn between an ex-Nazi cafe singer and the U.S. congresswoman investigating her.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, John Lund
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In order to adopt an abandoned baby, an actress arranges a marriage of convenience with a doctor.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Fred MacMurray, Aline MacMahon
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In old New Orleans, a beautiful adventuress juggles the attentions of a rich banker and a dashing sea captain.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Bruce Cabot, Roland Young


Complete credited cast:
Marsinah (as Joy Ann Page)
Hobart Cavanaugh ...


Hafiz, a rascally beggar on the periphery of the court of Baghdad, schemes to marry his daughter to royalty and to win the heart of the queen of the castle himself. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Fantasy


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Oriental Dream  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Broadway choreographer Jack Cole worked out all the harem dance routines, and Marlene Dietriech's exotic movements for her specialty dance routine. Jack Cole was uncredited for his film participation. In the 1955 MGM musical film adaptation of the 1953 Broadway musical "Kismet", Producer Arthur Freed brought Jack Cole back to the MGM Lot to replicate and re-stage his Broadway choreography for the film musical. See more »


Ronald Colman's character eats with his left hand, which is taboo in Arabic culture. See more »


Karsha: [Referring to Hafiz's daughter, Marsinah] You think she's going to wither away waiting for your fairy tales to come true?
Hafiz: She's waiting for her fate in all its splendor.
Karsha: The fate for a beggar's daughter is a camel boy.
Hafiz: Silence, misery!
See more »


Version of Kismet (1931) See more »


Tell Me, Tell Me, Evening Star
(1944) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Partially sung by Marlene Dietrich
Sung by Joy Page (dubbed by Doreen Tryden)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

KISMET (William Dieterle, 1944) ***
21 December 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

More Arabian Nights stuff, this time emanating from the studio where the lion roared: according to the Internet Movie Database, there are twenty (count 'em) films that go by the name of KISMET and, although the Vincente Minnelli-Howard Keel musical version is the best-known of the lot, this earlier straight adaptation starring Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich is perhaps the best-regarded. For the record, I do have the former on VHS but won't have time to catch it just now and, of all the rest, I'm mostly interested in the 1930 German version (there was another one made in Hollywood the same year) which, like the film under review, was directed by William Dieterle! Speaking of which, I don't quite understand the reasoning of Warner Brothers (who have inherited DVD distribution rights to the MGM film library) behind recently releasing the 1955 version on this format on its own (so to speak, since it actually forms part of a Musical Collection) rather than coupled with the earlier version.

Aged 53, Ronald Colman still cuts a strikingly handsome figure (even when dressed as a beggar) and his silvery hairline is amusingly obscured by the most unseemly of turbans for all but one scene in the film's latter stages. Equally splendid-looking is his 43-year old German co-star who, in the film's most celebrated sequence that was, ironically, later cut for TV screenings because of its 'erotic' content(!), has her legs painted in gold for a veiled dance number before the court of evil Grand Vizier Edward Arnold and Colman (who dubs himself the King of Beggars by day but moonlights as a sovereign of a far-away land). Given the maturing age of the two leads, it's no wonder that two younger actors were recruited in the persons of James Craig (as the Caliph of Bagdad who likes to go incognito through the streets of his kingdom as a gardener's son) and the late Joy Page (Colman's secreted daughter); she had made a memorable screen debut in CASABLANCA (1942) and died earlier this year aged 83.

The cast is rounded up by Florence Bates (as Colman's nagging in-law), Harry Davenport (as Craig's wily adviser) and Hugh Herbert (as one of Colman's would-be comic-relief sidekicks). As was to be expected from Hollywood's premier studio, no expense was spared in bringing this opulent costumer to the screen – including shooting in eye-filling Technicolor amidst impressively-constructed sets – and this effort was rewarded by garnering the film four Academy Award nominations in that year's ceremony…although, as had been the case (and would be again) with similar Oriental ventures, the nominees all went home empty-handed!

14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
trying to be a good movie...and failing.. jvance2
I loved Florence Bates. Polo
TCM kueskues
Discuss Kismet (1944) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: