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Lost in a Harem (1944)

Passed  -  Comedy  -  December 1944 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 766 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 2 critic

Two bumbling magicians help a Middle Eastern prince regain his rightful throne from his despotic uncle.


(as Charles Riesner)


(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Lost in a Harem (1944)

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Complete credited cast:
Marilyn Maxwell ...
Hazel Moon
John Conte ...
Prince Ramo
Lottie Harrison ...
Lock Martin ...
Bobo (as J. Lockard Martin)
Murray Leonard ...
The Derelict
Adia Kuznetzoff ...
Chief Ghamu
Milton Parsons ...
Crystal Gazer
Ralph Sanford ...
Mr. Ormulu
Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra ...
Harem Musicians


Pete Johnson and Harvey D. Garvey, two inept magicians on tour in the Middle Eastern kingdom of Barabeeha, help disenfranchised young Prince Ramo regain his throne from his devious Uncle Nimativ, who uses two magical hypnotic rings and ruthless methods to maintain his power. By posing as Hollywood talent scouts the boys break out of a dank dungeon with a deranged derelict, evade palace guards, elude the palace executioner, and avoid detection in the forbidden royal harem. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

palace | magician | uncle | prince | ring | See more »


MEET THE SHEIKS IN NIGHTSHIRTS! (original print ad - all caps) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

December 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harem Scare 'Em  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Two songs were written for the movie but not used: "I Know It's Wrong" by Gene de Paul and Don Raye and "It is Written" by Sammy Fain and Ralph Freed. "Noche De Ronda" written in 1935 by Maria Teresa Lara was recorded but cut from the final release version. See more »


The Derelict: Quiet! People will think you're crazy.
Harvey Garvey: Oh, and I suppose you're all right?
The Derelict: Of course!
Harvey Garvey: Of course?
The Derelict: I have a brother who is crazy -
The Derelict: but I'm all right!
Harvey Garvey: [gasping] Who told you?
The Derelict: My brother!
Harvey Garvey: That does it, brother!
See more »


Featured in Twenty Years After (1944) See more »


Sons of the Desert
(1944) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Sammy Fain and Ralph Freed
Sung by Adia Kuznetzoff and other followers of Prince Ramo
Advisor Kay Thompson
See more »

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User Reviews

A delightful film
23 March 2008 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

This was always one of my favourite A&C's, and as a previous commenter stated, definitely their best for MGM! Imho their best period overall was with Universal during WW2, but this is on the same level and the generally higher production values more than compensating me for the loss of that special Universal atmosphere. It only came about because MGM wanted to re-use the sets from the film they'd just made of Kismet with Ronald Colman, so John Grant set about writing a pastiche version for the duo.

At Port Inferno in Africa Bud & Lou are travelling magicians Garvey & Johnson but only making a living thanks to the alluring insistence of the top star Marilyn Maxwell; they all get ravelled up in young Prince Ramo's attempts to overthrow the throne of his wicked uncle Nimativ (full of vitamins one supposes). On the way they also get ravelled up in many of A&C's wacky routines including Don't say Tin, a bit of piffle-diffle, the classic Pokomoko sketch, Lou trying to sleep with a mouthful of beard, and my favourite the Hi Mike sketch – poor devil: shot to death twice, once with a knife! Douglas Dumbrille played Nimativ perfectly as a despot with a human side, even wanting to take Maxwell as wife no. 38. Maxwell had a great song with What Does It Take, while Jimmy Dorsey and his Orch. unfortunately dressed as Arab tribesmen had a couple of interesting well staged and photographed numbers. I wonder if the scenes would have been condemned by todays professional critics if someone like Louis Armstrong (and his Orch.) had been ridiculously togged up thus instead of Dorsey?

For the fan there are many entertaining scenes, some snappy smart ass dialogue going on and the film is a toe-curling pleasure from start to finish; please refer to commenter no. 1 from 2000 if you're not a fan and have as much time to kill as he did.

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