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The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Family, Fantasy | 11 April 1924 (Brazil)
A recalcitrant thief vies with a duplicitous Mongol ruler for the hand of a beautiful princess.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Lotta Woods (scenario editor), Douglas Fairbanks (story) (as Elton Thomas)
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Douglas Fairbanks ... The Thief of Bagdad
Snitz Edwards ... The Thief's Evil Associate
Charles Belcher Charles Belcher ... The Holy Man
Julanne Johnston ... The Princess
Sôjin Kamiyama ... The Mongol Prince (as Sojin)
Anna May Wong ... The Mongol Slave
Brandon Hurst ... The Caliph
Tote Du Crow Tote Du Crow ... The Soothsayer
Noble Johnson ... The Indian Prince
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Storyline

A thief falls in love with the Caliph of Bagdad's daughter. The Caliph will give her hand to the suitor that brings back the rarest treasure after seven moons. The thief sets off on a magical journey while, unbeknownst to him, another suitor, the Prince of the Mongols, is not playing by the rules... Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A glorious fantasy that takes you back to Bagdad of the days when the salt of life was love and the wine of life adventure (Print Ad- Spokesman-Review, ((Spokane, Wash.)) 28 December 1924)


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the flying carpet effect, Douglas Fairbanks stood on a 3/4-inch thick sheet of steel attached to 16 piano wires and rigged to the top of a crane, which lifted him above the crowd. See more »

Goofs

In the final flying carpet scene, the position of the magic chest on the carpet changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

The Caliph: When the moon tips the cypress the betrothal will be consummate in feast. Come.
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Alternate Versions

In some prints, Mathilde Comont is credited as M. Comont to keep her sex a secret. However, in several scenes in the film it is very obvious that the Persian Prince is being played by a woman. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood (1980) See more »

User Reviews

Long before tigers crouched and dragons hid...
7 June 2003 | by tprofumoSee all my reviews

...Douglas Fairbanks brought grace and poetry to physical action on the movie screen. Fairbanks essentially invented the action/adventure movie genre, known in his day as swashbucklers.

"Thief of Bagdad" was made in 1924 when Fairbanks was half way through the heyday of that part of his career. He already had "Zorro" "The Three Musketeers" and "Robin Hood" behind him. "Thief" was something of a departure, however, for it depended less on Fairbanks ability to dance his way though physical stunts than it did on the Arabian Nights tableau it presented on the screen. And frankly, nothing like it has every been done since. Only Griffth's "Intolerance" created the same kind of feel, and it was gritty and warlike, where as "Thief" was a sort of wondrous dream about what it would be like to live by your wits, go off and slay dragons and eventually, win the hand of a princess by saving her father's kingdom.

Fairbanks was over 40 when he made this film and yet seems so perfectly suited for it that we forget his age. He is the embodiment of the dashing hero.

But what almost overshadows him are the sets themselves. Designed by William Cameron Menzies, they are beyond spectacular. Almost every frame of this film is a work of art and of course, the amazing thing is, this was not done through computer animation. So skillful are the designs and the camerawork, that it is almost impossible to tell where the sets stop and the matt paintings begin.

Credit for all this must also go to Fairbanks,who wrote the script and produced the film. Raoul Walsh's direction is also great, although the film is a little long in some spots and would be aided by some skillful editing.

Fairbanks acting style seems today very much of the silent era, yet at the same time, there is always the feel of joyous celebration to it. He was always something of the happy rogue or perhaps, a guy who realized he was getting to make a living by playing in the world's most wonderful sandbox. He was blessed with good fortune and he knew it.

Of the others, Julanne Johnston, who plays the princess, probably comes off the worst of the main characters. She is beautiful,but comes off as little more than window dressing. But cudos to the incredible Anna May Wong who plays the treacherous Mongol slave girl. Wong's great beauty and strong screen presence allow her to steal almost every scene she is in. That Wong never got the chance to play many lead roles is one of the great tragedies of Hollywood history.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None

Release Date:

11 April 1924 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

The Thief of Bagdad: An Arabian Nights Fantasy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,135,654 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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