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Harum (Rock Hudson) is a fearless man of the people who comes to Bagdad to avenge the murder of his father and meets Krairuzan (Piper Laurie), a princess disguised as a commoner, working against a plot by a band of evil schemers trying to do away with her father, the Caliph. She gives Harum a golden sword which, in his hands, makes him invincible. Harum uses the sword in the name of justice and is doing quite well until a duplicate sword is placed in his scabbard during one of his off-guard moments, and he winds up in chains. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Lively, physically beautiful, with delightful comedy and John Rich's script
Young Piper Laurie and handsome newcomer Rock Hudson were both featured to great advantage in this clearly-plotted and lively adventure-comedy. Imaginative veteran Nathan Juran directs very accurately and imaginatively, and the acting by George Macready as the ambitious villain, aided by Gene Evans (not quite up to a classical accent) and Kathleen Hughes and that of their opponents played by Edgar Barrier, the crafty Stephen Geray and others is above average for any genre. Adding to the fun is lovely Laurie impersonating a boy, a mysterious magic sword (which in lesser hands would have been a detriment) and its magical unwillingness to obey other than a virtuous owner. There is a prolonged sequence when various magicians attempt to remove the sword--which Macready needs to claim the throne--that has become embedded in a wall, and more physically colorful and beautifully-realized scenes than in any ten mean-streets melodramas of the post 1970s. If you do not fall in love with the spirited Khairozan, as Hudson does in the film, then you are probably dead. If you cannot delight in this youthful and stirring adventure of a bygone era, you had best give Grecianized Near-Easterns, our richest adventure genre in so many ways, a consistent miss.
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