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Following the journey of a caterpillar along the Japanese islands from Nagasaki to Hokkaido, this allegorical and oblique first feature film by Kuroki depicts in exquisite images a series of encounters and life's turning points.
In Ispahan, Persia, Hajji Baba is leaving his father's shop to seek a greater fortune, while the Princess Fawzia is trying to talk her father, the Caliph into giving her in marriage to Nur-El-Din, a rival prince known far and wide as mean and fickle. Her father intends Fawzia for Fawzia to marry a friend and ally, and makes plans to send her to him. But a courier brings word from Nur-El-Din that an escort awaits Fawzia on the outskirts of the city and she escapes the palace disguised as a boy. Hajji encounters the escort-warrior at the rendezvous spot, is attacked and beats up the escort with his barber's tools. The princess arrives and mistakes Hajji as the escort until he mistakes the emerald ring sent by Nur-El-Din to Fawzia as the prize to be delivered. In her efforts to escape him, her turban becomes unbound and Hajji realizes that the girl herself is the treasure Nur-El-Din awaits. Hajji promises to escort her and they spend the night with the caravan of Osman Aga, who invites ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This fantasy does indeed look sumptuous, and it is rendered in particularly eatable colour. But beauty is only skin deep, and this is otherwise a particularly ghastly addition to the endless stream of 50s overdressed and underwritten exotica.
Performances are generally very junior at an Arabian Nights pantomime level, although a minor gaggle of lascivious cheesecake ladies in a permanent frenzy does cut a strikingly camp dash and stops things from getting too unbearably dull.
Otherwise the most surprisingly redeeming factor is, for once in his career, the presence of John Derek; combining perfectly adequate Errol Flynn Jr-type physical heroics with an agreeably broad sense of self-parodic charade; a versatility very rarely displayed in any of his more 'serious' thespian outings.
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