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A Thousand and One Nights (1945)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy | 20 July 1945 (USA)
Tongue-in-cheek fantasy film set in Baghdad and loosely based on the One Thousand and One Nights medieval story.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as Wilfrid H. Pettitt), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Princess Armina
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Sultan Kamar Al-Kir / Prince Hadji
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Grand Wazir AbuHassan
Gus Schilling ...
Jafar
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Kahim
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Giant
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Kofir
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Ali
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Storyline

On the run after being found sweet-talking the Sultan's daughter, Aladdin comes upon a lamp which, when rubbed, summons up Babs the genie. He uses it to return as a visiting prince asking for the princess's hand. Unfortunately for him, the sultan's wicked twin brother has secretly usurped the throne, someone else is after the lamp for his own ends, and Babs has taken a shine to Aladdin herself and is bent on wrecking his endeavours. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE TECHNICOLOR STORY OF ALADDIN and his wonderful VAMP! (original ad - many caps)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

20 July 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

1001 Nights  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is notable for documenting the use of the word "groovy" as a recognized slang term in American society as early as the mid-1940s. See more »

Connections

References The Thief of Bagdad (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

No More Women
(uncredited)
Performed by Cornel Wilde (dubbed by Tom Clark)
Music by Saul Chaplin
Lyrics by Edgar De Lange
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User Reviews

 
The untold adventures of Aladdin, Phil Silvers and one dreamy genie
20 November 2012 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS (1945) is a Technicolor "Arabian Nights" romp with its tongue planted firmly in cheek. The lightweight script contemporizes the tale of sultans, sorcerers, magic lamps, and romance in Old Araby. The film is pretty weak, but it seems like the kind of movie that would be fun for kids and young folk. (Or at least young folk in 1945.) The colors are vibrant, there are some "magical" special effects, a few songs, and a sense of exotic adventure. Plus more than a few winks at the modern audience.

Phil Silvers is a walking anachronism, complete with 1940s slang and a variation on his signature specs. He plays the comedic sidekick to Cornel Wilde's Aladdin and is a vehicle for pop culture references. His shtick is nigh insufferable here. Wilde plays a rather bland hero, a handsome vagabond who makes women swoon with his singing in the marketplace.

The best thing about this film is Evelyn Keyes. I know her from 1950s noirs like THE KILLER THAT STALKED NEW YORK (1950) and THE PROWLER (1951). Here she is adorable as the redheaded genie who grants wishes for Aladdin. She shows up about twenty minutes into the movie and makes the whole thing worthwhile. She looks great in Technicolor and steals every scene she's in. As the genie can only be seen by the person who possesses the magic lamp, she's always skipping around, up to some playful mischief while "invisible". It's fun watching her, even when she's not the focus of the scene.

Keyes's genie falls in love with Wilde's Aladdin when he first rubs the lamp, and she's rather put out that he only has eyes for the daughter of the sultan. Still, she has no choice but to help Aladdin get the girl. The princess is played by Adele Jergens, a blonde Virginia Mayo type. She's beautiful, but personally I would've run off with Evelyn Keyes.

The cast also includes the lovely Dusty Anderson as the princess's handmaiden, Dennis Hoey as the sultan (and his evil twin), Philip Van Zandt as his scheming vizier, Richard Hale as a random cave-dwelling sorcerer, John Abbott as a poor tailor with a thing for redheads, and Rex Ingram seemingly recreating his diaper-wearing giant role from THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1940).

As with other Arabian Nights films, like the 1924 and 1940 versions of THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, it's interesting to note the similarities to Walt Disney's ALADDIN (1992). In this film particularly you have a vagabond named Aladdin (with a pickpocket sidekick) who falls in love with the sultan's daughter. The evil vizier conspires against the sultan and wants to marry the princess. Aladdin uses a genie's magic to pass as a prince and enter the palace to woo the princess. There's even the scene with the old sorcerer in the cave ("Let us out!" "First give me the lamp!"). I don't know if the folks at Disney screened all these old movies for inspiration or if the plot points are just common to the traditional Arabian Nights tales.

A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS is not a great movie, but it's a fun spin on Arabian Nights adventures. The film certainly doesn't take itself too seriously. There's little substance for the serious film buffs, but it's a colorful curiosity and an interesting product of its time. The closing bobbysoxer gag is great.


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