6.4/10
516
10 user 11 critic

Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937)

Passed | | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical | 29 October 1937 (USA)
A movie company is doing the Arabian Nights when a hobo enters their camp, falls asleep and dreams he's back in Baghdad as advisor to the Sultan. In a spoof of Rosevelt's New Deal, he ... See full summary »

Director:

David Butler

Writers:

Harry Tugend (screen play), Jack Yellen (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Cantor ... Ali Baba
Tony Martin ... Yusuf / Tony Martin
Roland Young ... Sultan
June Lang ... Princess Miriam / June Lang
Gypsy Rose Lee ... Sultana / Louise Hovick (as Louise Hovick)
Raymond Scott and His Quintet Raymond Scott and His Quintet ... Raymond Scott Quintete
John Carradine ... Ishak / Broderick
Virginia Field ... Dinah
Alan Dinehart ... Boland
Douglass Dumbrille ... Prince Musah (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Maurice Cass ... Omar - The Rug Maker
Warren Hymer ... Tramp
Stanley Fields ... Tramp
Paul Hurst ... Captain
Sam Hayes ... Radio Announcer
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Storyline

A movie company is doing the Arabian Nights when a hobo enters their camp, falls asleep and dreams he's back in Baghdad as advisor to the Sultan. In a spoof of Rosevelt's New Deal, he organizes work programs, taxes the rich and abolishes the army. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two special-effects technicians--grip Harry Harsha and propman Philo Goodfriend--were killed when a machine that was being used to make the "flying carpet" look like it was flying jumped off its tracks and fell on them. See more »

Goofs

The story is set in tenth-century Baghdad but reference is made to the sultan's being the ruler of Arabia. Baghdad is in Iraq or, as it would have been known then, Mesopotamia. See more »

Quotes

Sultan: I hope you'll enjoy what we've got - if you don't mind taking pot luck?
Ali Baba: Can I get a hot dog and a bottle of pop?
Sultan: Hot dog? Pop?
Ali Baba: That's the great national diet in America. I've just come from there.
Sultan: America? Where is that?
Ali Baba: A great open space between New York and Hollywood.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some prints also include Tony Martin singing, and June Lang dancing, "I've Got My Heart Set on You", making for a running time closer to 81 minutes than 77 minutes in the edited versions. See more »

Connections

Version of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1918) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Played by the band during the Abdullah campaign parade
See more »

User Reviews

 
Fun curiosity
27 November 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Seeing it for the first time on Youtube recently, 'Ali Baba Goes to Town' made for an hour and a half of good fun entertainment and an interesting curiosity. Not a great film, but a pretty good one.

The story is a bit thin and silly, kept afloat by the dialogue, some efficient pacing and the songs but more an excuse to string along musical numbers and comedy. The cast are a mixed bag. Eddie Cantor enjoys himself thoroughly and is enormous fun, while Roland Young is a suitably urbane sultan. On the other hand, Louise Hovick (aka Gypsy Rose Lee) overdoes it and, despite singing gloriously, Tony Martin is very wooden.

However, 'Ali Baba Goes to Town' looks good, with pleasing photography, costume and set design while the special effects still hold up as above decent. The script is funny and cleverly written, while the energy has much exuberance so the film never feels dull.

A big standout here is the songs, which are marvellous. The standouts being "Swing is Here to Sway", "Twilight in Turkey" and "Vote for Honest Abe".

Overall, a fun curiosity if not great. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nuits d'Arabie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Color:

Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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