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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.

Director:

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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 July 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

1001 Nights  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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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

The hero is introduced several times as "Aladdin of Cathay" referring to Marco Polo's name for (Northern) China. In the original Arabian Nights tale, Aladdin is a Chinese lad and his adventure takes place in a rather Arabian-seeming China. No attempt is made to make Cornel Wilde look Chinese. See more »

Connections

References The Thief of Bagdad (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Beauty for Sale
(uncredited)
Performed by Cornel Wilde (dubbed by Tom Clark)
Music by Saul Chaplin
Lyrics by Edgar De Lange
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User Reviews

 
A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS (Alfred E. Green, 1945) ***
21 December 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Although the Arabian Nights Technicolor fantasies of the 1940s and 1950s were mainly the domain of Universal Studios, the other Hollywood majors understandably jumped on the Oriental band wagon while it was big box-office, and this endearingly modernistic revamp of the mythical tale of Aladdin was Columbia's contribution to that WWII craze. Having first (and only) read about this one on Leonard Maltin's Film Guide and never encountering it on Italian TV in my childhood, I leapt at the chance of acquiring it on DivX but, as is becoming increasingly (and frustratingly) regular with this format, there were lip-synch problems which, thankfully, were corrected via conversion to DVD. But, enough of this techno-babble…

Aladdin is played by Columbia's star Cornel Wilde – he had just been Oscar-nominated for A SONG TO REMEMBER (1945) – who is curiously fourth-billed here; he even gets to sing several times (a talent of his that I had previously been unaware of…if that was indeed his voice on the soundtrack); incidentally, I should be acquiring another somewhat obscure Wilde costumer very soon called STAR OF India (1954) which I intend to watch over the Christmas week. As I said in my introduction (and perhaps to differentiate itself from the rival Universal product), the film-makers also engaged the services of another currently hot commodity in bespectacled comedian Phil Silvers as Aladdin's pickpocketing sidekick. At first, I balked at his modern-day savvy personality (with in-jokes towards The Lone Ranger, liberal use of hip words like "groovy", etc.) but was eventually won over by his gauche schtick culminating in his hilarious Frank Sinatra transformation at the film's very end. Another asset to the film is the delightful (if belated) presence – as a mischievous female genie of the proverbial lamp – of the late (she died earlier this year aged 91!) Evelyn Keyes; naturally, she falls in love with her master Aladdin but, losing him to Princess Adele Jergens, she creates her own clone!

Speaking of the Universal rivalry, I was surprised to see Dennis Hoey (best-known as the bumbling Inspector Lestrade of Universal's ongoing Sherlock Holmes series with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce) in a dual rule as the villain, not to mention Rex Ingram reprising (albeit too briefly) his celebrated giant characterization from THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1940)! Like its prototype ARABIAN NIGHTS (1942), this film was also looked on favorably by Academy Award voters in the technical categories: art direction-set decoration and special effects (mostly having to do with Silvers being unable to see Keyes and Wilde's transformation into a dog – another nod, I suppose, to that afore-mentioned Alexander Korda production).


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