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I first saw this film when I was a lad back in 1963. It was probably
the most wondrous film I had seen - I must have seen it at least half a
dozen times during its run in the cinema.
The story concerns a prince, played by he-man Steve Reeves, who must pass seven tests in order to find a legendary blue rose and thus save the life of a comatose princess, win her hand in marriage and the kingdom.
Under the direction of Arthur Lubin, this film boasts impressive (for its day) special effects, exotic sets and acting that raises itself above other Arabian Nights type films. The characters are well written which include the obligatory villains who are also on the blue rose trail and evil women who pack a deadly punch - or perhaps that should be deadly potion.
I think this rates as a classic of its genre. Catch it if you can.
If you are a fan of Steve Reeves, then this is probably Steve at his best. A love story combining the elements of which led you to remember Aladdin and his adventures. This film has walking trees, flying horse, 7 doors, cloak of invisibility and evil women. Georges Chamarat plays the small and wonderful magician who helps the thief, Karim. A riddle must be solved to begin the journey of the 7 doors: Begin in the East, through the door that is not there? I remember seeing this as a boy in the sixties and is very much still a classic.
I remember how great I found this movie when I first saw it as a
Entertaining, inviting, beautifully scored and visually exciting, it was a
good surprise for me, a muscle-movies fan then.
I found Steve Reeves could show something else than his stunning muscles. He gives this time a very lighthearted performance - surprisingly, I guess, for his legions of fans - a step ahead of his habitual towering figure and dark persona. He shows, maybe for the one and only time, that he could create a character that goes beyond himself, in this case, Karim, the Thief of Bagdad. Convincingly, this is the point. In excellent, slimmer shape, smiling, it was Steve Reeves in his apex, in a delightful, colorful movie.
This is a very lovable movie, and I rate it as the best in his career, if you put the seminal 'Hercules' aside as 'hors-concours'.
This film has something in it that everyone would enjoy if they just allow themselves to be taken by it. If you have the chance to see it, simply sit there with a snack & beverage and let the film bring you into the land of 1001 Arabian Nights. The music is almost hypnotic, as the theme plays all through the background. The colors and scenery are breathtakingly beautiful. I enjoyed this film when I was a boy. It took me 20 years to find it on a video cassette and expected to be a little disappointed. I wasn't. It was all that I had remembered and more. See this one with your kids!
Even though this film would understandably be considered juvenile by many
(and I very much enjoyed it as a child), I still, as a middle-aged adult,
like it very much. (I can't say this for many other things I liked as a
If one watches it with "fairy tale" in mind, that goes a long way in preventing adult over-criticism.
One of the movie books (Maltin) says it is "occasionally atmospheric." I definitely agree.
Also, it has a pretty musical theme that repeats.
A favorite film of mine.
--Mark M Racine, WI, US(A)
I would second almost everything written in previous comments. I too saw it as a young boy and it stuck with me, along with other fantasies of the period like those from Ray Harryhausen. I recently started looking for it on ebay where I found it's out of print and never released on DVD; of course there are some used VHS copies available, some going for what seem like inflated prices. A previous comment stated that MGM has the distribution rights so I sent a message to them through their website (www.mgm.com) asking for the film's release on DVD. Anyone feeling the same should try it as well, it may help get results.
I don't really remember much about this movie except that as a child I
really liked the quest for the blue rose.
When I went to rent from Netflix I discovered the versions they had were from 1924 and 1940 which are different story lines.
It was a movie that made the matinée circuit where kids could plunk down part of their own allowance and go see it on Saturday afternoon, so I expect a lot of us boomers went to see it when we were children.
The thing is this movie probably still has a pretty big demographic given the fact that many boomers have delayed having children, but MGM (which has the distribution rights) hasn't made a DVD out of it. They probably should.
This is my personal favourite of all the screen versions of this Arabian Nights fantasy as it is thankfully free of the camp whimsy that permeates the more acclaimed Alexanda Korda version from 1940.In any case,this stars the mighty Steve Reeves in his most animated performance as Karim,the thief of the title who must undergo a perilous quest to save the princess and win the kingdom. Seeing this film again yesterday for the first time since its original release,it had obviously dated and did not seem so spectacular and action packed as I remembered.This is true of many films that we see as children and although this "THIEF" does not compare in special effects terms with the Harryhausen movies of the era it has a zest about it that makes for an appealing 90 minutes of viewing time.All of Reeves films seem somewhat stilted now but this sees him at his best,more athletic,better dubbed and even displaying a tongue in cheek nonchalance that is quite a refreshing change from his normally stolid persona. I still maintain that if he had been born 20 years later he would have been one of the really hot action stars of the 70s and 80s, his career is ripe for re-assessment and I would love to see a documentary on this still active man. Rank him alongside Errol Flynn and Bruce Lee as one of the true icons of action-adventure cinema.
Like a previous viewer, I saw this movie when I was young also. I think what made it stand out for me was first I grew up on Hercules and was a fan of Steve Reeves. Secondly, it was the magic of the movie, the whole Arabian Knights thing. I think as a kid certain things you remember for the rest of your life. I remember feeling like I was in search of the blue rose for the Princess. I think I watched that whole movie with my mouth open. I have seen it several times since then and each time I walk away feeling like that eight year old kid who saw something wonderful that he'll never forget. Santa Claus verses the Martians, yea, I can dig it...
I don't often beg but please release it on DVD. Make an old man happy. This is another of the marvellous range of Steve Reeves movies that came out in the 60s. I think this is my favourite because it is almost a comedy. It simply has an air of cheerfulness, joy and happiness about it, which you can't really say about any other of his films. The supporting cast is also excellent with a soundtrack that I remember fondly. Reading these comments, if anyone does, you may realise that I am padding to get in the 10 lines of text that are the minimum. The point of the comment is to try to get someone to release it so to reiterate - some company release it - it's better than some of the dross that comes out.
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