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Abdullah (John Agar)has reached manhood as the son of a physician without knowing he is the true Caliph of Islam. Stirred by the conditions in his country, he infiltrates the palace and plans a rebellion. Princess Narah (Lucille Ball (I)'), sister of the fake ruler, is attracted to him until she learns he plans a revolt of the people. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Lucille Ball had often complained to Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn about the quality of the pictures she had been doing while under contract to the studio. At the time this picture was made, Ball was only obligated to Columbia for one more film, and Cohn had producer Sam Katzman, who turned out most of Columbia's low-budget "B" pictures, concoct this cheap Arabian Nights fantasy as a punishment to Ball for her constantly challenging him to give her better roles. See more »
Harry Cohn making use of those sets he constructed for Cornel Wilde and A Thousand And One Nights made this B film The Magic Carpet that starred John Agar, Lucille Ball, and Patricia Medina. It looks like it should have come from Universal which specialized in these Middle Easterns in post World War II America churning them out by the dozen for its young contract stars, Jeff Chandler, Tony Curtis, and Rock Hudson.
But John Agar never attained the stature of these guys and doesn't quite cut it in sword, sandal, and camel. Poor Lucille Ball she was just waiting for I Love Lucy to start and just running out her contract. Lucy especially put all the emoting of George Raft into her role as the usurper princess. Of course her red hair looked as out of place in these films as Maureen O'Hara did.
As this story opens the Caliph of Bagdad is proclaiming his infant son his heir when he's struck down in a palace coup. Before the revolt is finished the Queen is also killed, but not before she dispatches the infant like Moses not in a waterproof basket, but on the family flying carpet, set on autopilot and to the home of William Fawcett a physician who brings up the kid in his profession never revealing to the kid who grows up to be John Agar his true identity. Fawcett even keeps the carpet which proves of immense help.
Patricia Medina who appeared in more than one of these kind of films has the proper spirit playing the girl who Agar really likes. But I sure can't believe she's George Tobias's sister. Raymond Burr who appeared in some great films and some not so great like this one is always good, here as the villainous vizier of the false Caliph who discovers who Agar is and tries to destroy him.
The Magic Carpet is a mediocre sand and scandal story with leads who just can't really summon up any conviction.
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