|Index||7 reviews in total|
Several years ago, many viewers rediscovered this lively, literate gem with script by Gera;d Drayson Adams, direction by Rudolph Mate. It was show as a rerun on a local TV Aos Angeles station hosted by Jackie Joseph, and ignoring critics who look down on all adventure genres, she and many of her crew fell in love with the movie. And why not? Theodore Dreiser's noted story has here been turned into a well-acted and entertaining movie; and master director Mate draws a very fine performance from a very young Piper Laurie indeed. The storyline is a sense-of-life piece, one where the hero, ably played (if one ignores his accent) by young, handsome Tony Curtis who has been raised by the thief who spared his life years before discovers that he is the rightful Prince of the kingdom. To save his adopted father from death, he helps him catch the man who has stolen the great pearl on which the safety of the city from a hostile army depends. This mission involves him with two women, Tina, thief, daughter of a thief played by Laurie and the princess, ably played by Peggie Castle; of course there are thefts, escapes, arguments, misunderstandings, fine dialogue scenes, a Guild of Jackals who are both help and hindrance and an usually satisfying climactic battle and denouement to a romantic ending. Admas' script is masterful, the direction very smooth, and all the technical aspects unusually satisfying, specially Hans J. Salter's music. Those in the cast besides the leads include talented Everett Sloane, Bettey Garde, Donald Randolph,Hayden Rourke, Marvin Miller, and Jeff Corey. There are some dancing girls seen here, but there are also scenes in the great souk, first-rate comedy, a robbing of the Treasury that is a classic caper, and enjoyably-three-dimensional characters. Favorite line--the Prince appoints his father to be the new keeper of the keeper of the new keeper of the Treasury--the Master of the Guild of Jackals. Colorful, abounding in action and very memorable, this treat is deserves to be a favorite with all those who enjoy uncomplicated adventure and the Grecianized-Near-eastern genre particularly.
"The Prince Who Was A Thief" was a good movie---the story was interesting and entertaining. Best part of the movie: Piper Laurie. On a funny side, most of the stars were pretty convincing as Muslims (wink, wink; nudge, nudge). I for one was fooled! That notwithstanding, this movie deserves to be copied onto DVD--far worse movies have made the cut! Tony Curtis played Julna, a prince who was supposed to be killed by a good-hearted guard who balked at the last minute and decided to adopt the child instead. The kid grew up and eventually came under the eye of the evil ruler (boo, hiss). Finally he took his rightful place. If movies like "Arabian Nights" and "The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad" have made it to DVD why not the equally good "The Prince Who Was A Thief"?
I love this movie. Why do I like it so much? It is from the 50's when I was a little kid. Tony Curtis is in the movie....as an Arabian. (My friends like to comment on Tony's accent in Brooklynese in a role where it doesn't sound right... I don't notice.) He,(and Burt Lancaster, I think of together) was athletic, heroic and his youthful movies show a special promise, spirit that will pervade all of his movies. Piper Laurie is so thin and flexible.....she's awesome. Another Tony Curtis movie like this one is The Black Shield of Falworth. I recall seeing a Robin Hood sort of movie with Tony when I was young, perhaps that is partly why I like Tony and this movie. (What movie was it? I don't know. Maybe it wasn't Tony.) When he was older, a writer friend of my mother's met Tony and raved about how good looking he was and how nice. In the same vein as this movie, I also think of Burt's The Crimson Pirate.
To begin, I've always found movies with Arabian Nights settings to be
curiously seductive, even if infested with clichés. The exotic (though
studio bound) locales, pastel colours, lavish interiors, voluptuous
dancing girls, and lively daring-do provide, if not quality, an
irresistible recipe for pure escapism. Universal Studios regularly
churned out these carpet rides during the late '40s and early '50s,
often using them as proving grounds for many of its young contract
THE PRINCE WHO WAS A THIEF may well be the best of the lot. It is a happy combination of above-average script sourced from a short story by Theodore Dreiser, technically competent direction, and fortuitous casting of the two leads.
Tony Curtis plays a young Prince of Tangier, marked for assassination as an infant but raised into adulthood by thieves and becoming one himself until he can reclaim his birthright, all with the help of fellow thief, Piper Laurie. Both players, who went on to better films and even critical praise, attack their roles with a boundless energy that's contagious, yet they avoid upstaging each other. So appealing was their on-screen rapport that they would make three subsequent films together. Here, the accent is on acrobatics and the athletic Curtis and the agile Laurie deliver in spades, performing all of their own stunts with the exception of Laurie's (she was 19 at the time) climb to the top of a high wall on the backs of men near the climax. A playful banter between the two throughout adds a good-natured battle-of-the sexes to the proceedings and keeps the story humming along.
Direction was deftly handled by Rudolph Maté, a Hungarian ex-pat who had previously apprenticed with Alexander Korda as cameraman and with Fritz Lang and René Claire as cinematographer. While none of his later work produced what can be called certified classics, his films, such as D.O.A., Branded, and The Mississippi Gambler remain effective and visually appealing as evidenced here.
Tony curtis will and always be remembered as a fun loving Actor from Some Like it hot to the Persuaders and the this film showed what he could do and I wonder how many female fans he aquired after this was released good few I remember watching this when I was a child and wishing I could watch it all over again there's not many kissing scenes which make you shudder but this one does,
Early in the movie whilst the lovely Piper is in his arms, Tony gracefully utters- "Yonder lies da castle of my fadder da King." Cut him a little slack! At that time he was VERY new to the movies! What better example could there be of starting out 'shaky' and then becoming a film legend? At least in 'Spartacus', when Olivier told Tony that he preferred "Both oysters AND clams", Tony disappeared without a trace, and Olivier just smiled.
This was made by Universal as part of the grooming process aimed at
Tony Curtis from contract player into a star ,allowing him to build up an
audience over the years.It is just as well he was a busy actor and other
product came along to obscure just how very bad this is.
Curtis is the eponymous Prince ;earmarked for assassination while still a
baby he is spared by the soft hearted would be assassin who raises him as
his own son
As an adult Curtis becomes involved in a nonsensical plot to recover a
priceless pearl and in so doing rescue his native city from attack by
heartless enemies.Along the way he falls in love with the scheming
,not noticing the vivacious Tina (Piper Laurie )until it is almost too
Insultingly slipshod in every respect -poor acting ,garish colour ,weak sets etc .This is juvenile and unengaging and wastes everybody's time in watching and the talents of those who made it.
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