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Kismet (1955)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Musical, Fantasy  |  8 October 1955 (USA)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 950 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 19 critic

A roguish poet is given the run of the scheming Wazir's harem while pretending to help him usurp the young caliph.


, (uncredited)


(non-musical play "Kismet"), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Kismet (1955)

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From Arnold Bennett's novel "Buried Alive". An artist returning from years abroad takes the identity of his dead valet to escape the attentions of the press.

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Stars: Monty Woolley, Gracie Fields, Laird Cregar


Complete credited cast:
Monty Woolley ...
Chief Policeman
Police subaltern
Reiko Sato ...
1st Princess of Ababu
Patricia Dunn ...
2nd Princess of Ababu
Wonci Lui ...
3rd Princess of Ababu
Julie Robinson ...


Like a tale spun by Scheherazade, Kismet follows the remarkable and repeated changes of fortune that engulf a poor poet. It all happens in one incredible day when Kismet (Fate) takes a hand. Written by Betty Frayne

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


ECSTASY OF SONG, SPECTACLE AND LOVE! {poster - all caps] See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 October 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un extraño en el paraíso  »

Box Office


$2,692,960 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)|



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The word kismet comes from the Arabic word kismat, meaning "division, portion, lot." Basically it means your fate or your destiny. It was Haj's destiny to succeed. See more »


Caliph Guard: [closing lines] Is this man to be pardoned, O Caliph?
Omar: Pardon him, All Highest. His crime was a service. Let him go free.
The Poet: No, don't ask that. Under the circumstances it would embarrass the All Highest to pardon his father-in-law. No, O Prince of Justice, let me help you to compose this most difficult of verdicts against a man who in his life never once did right and who never once wronged anyone. Condemn the scoundrel to some dreadful oasis at least a week's camel's journey away. Force him to ...
See more »


Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.12 (1955) See more »


Music by Aleksandr Borodin
Music Adapted by Bob Wright (as Robert Wright) and Chet Forrest (as George Forrest)
Lyrics by Bob Wright (as Robert Wright) and Chet Forrest (as George Forrest)
Sung by Howard Keel
See more »

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User Reviews

A waste of good singing but worth seeing once.
11 November 2001 | by (Montclair, NJ) – See all my reviews

Kismet isn't a complete waste of time but director Minelli was itching to do Lust for Life and had little enthusiasm for this assignment, which engaged his abilities, but not his sympathies. Unfortunately, it shows. Like Brigadoon and a few other musicals, this was one case where the Freed factory failed despite some gorgeous singing by the principals (Vic Damone is no actor but he ravishes "Stranger in Paradise"). Some numbers are shorn from the score, which doesn't hurt much but some are added, which does. There's a stale, formulaic quality to this movie and Kismet is a hothouse flower that doesn't thrive under M-G-M's "crunch-it-out" treatment. More imagination and taste were needed. There are several good recordings of the score and I'd suggest that, if you like the music (what's not to like?), you experience Kismet aurally.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Mario Lanza instead of Vic Damone MusicalFreak84
Keel gives an Oscar worthy performance oldsenior
Dolores Gray was a dynamic performer oldsenior
goof? writer's mistake? nonchee-1
Kismet on Blu-Ray tnsprin-2
What a Great musical soundtrack.... borodinrodin
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