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The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

After being tricked and cast out of Bagdad by the evil Jaffar, King Ahmad joins forces with a thief named Abu to reclaim his throne, the city, and the Princess he loves.

Writers:

Miles Malleson (screen play and dialogue), Lajos Biró (scenario by) (as Lajos Biro) | 1 more credit »
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Zoltan Korda
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Conrad Veidt ... Jaffar
Sabu ... Abu
June Duprez ... Princess
John Justin ... Ahmad
Rex Ingram ... Djinn
Miles Malleson ... Sultan
Morton Selten ... The Old King
Mary Morris ... Halima / Six-Armed Goddess
Bruce Winston Bruce Winston ... The Merchant
Hay Petrie Hay Petrie ... Astrologer
Adelaide Hall Adelaide Hall ... Singer
Roy Emerton Roy Emerton ... Jailer
Allan Jeayes Allan Jeayes ... The Story Teller
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Storyline

In Bagdad, the young and naive Sultan Ahmad is curious about the behavior of his people. The Grand Vizier Jaffar convinces Ahmad to walk through the city disguised as a subject to know his people. Then he seizes the power telling to the inhabitants that Ahmad has died while he sends his army to arrest the Sultan that is thrown into the dungeons and sentenced to death. Ahmad befriends the young thief Abu that helps him to escape from the prison. They flee to Basra and plan to travel abroad with Sinbad. However Ahmad stumbles upon the beautiful princess and they fall in love with each other. But the evil Jaffar has also traveled to Basra to propose to marry the princess. When they see each other, Jaffar uses magic to blind Ahmad and turn Abu into a dog. Is their love doomed? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Three brave hearts, adventuring in a wonder world! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le voleur de Bagdad See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$268,948
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When filming began in the US, the stricter censorship codes of the Hays Office there were applied. One of the most obvious differences between the scenes shot in the UK and those filmed in the US is that the tops of the actresses' costumes were buttoned up all the way to satisfy the Hays Office. That kind of clue makes it easier to identify the US-shot scenes than trying to spot differences in the sets. See more »

Goofs

Both instances when the flying horse is coming to life in preparation to fly it is shown standing on a red plush material surface. However, when the horse becomes airborne the surface where it stood appears to be a hard polished stone surface. See more »

Quotes

Abu: How can you be so ungrateful?
Genie: Grateful? Slaves are not grateful. Not for their freedom!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Hungarian Lullabye
(uncredited)
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Lyrics by Zoltan Korda
Sung by Adelaide Hall
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Truly "A Remant From The Golden Age"
28 October 2007 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

An utterly beautiful film, one of a handful of I saw when young that entranced me then and still do, in Thief's case the impression actually seems to get better with the passing of time. By the '90's my daughter and I had seen it many times on TV but still went to the pictures when it came to the local art-house cinema – when it had finished we came out starry eyed with heads full of poetry and Miklos Rozsa's stirring music wishing it could have lasted a couple of hours longer and thinking what a beautiful world it suddenly was again.

Idealistic Prince Ahmad wants to slum it amongst his people for a while to check things out, but evil Vizier Jaffar takes his chance to imprison him and seize the throne. After escaping with a little thief played by Sabu, Ahmad spots a Princess and they fall blindingly in love – along the way they have many adventures (although apparently not enough for Sabu!) and Love not only conquers but annihilates everything. The special effects must have been mesmerising in 1940, but Time has taken its toll and lessened their impact especially since digital cartoonery has taken over even live action – but they still hold up well compared against films like Superman from 40 years later. Anyway, if I'm requested to suspend disbelief in gargantuan guffawing genies, flying horses and carpets I also suspend disbelief in perfect special effects! Favourite bits: the dreamy scene in the sunlit garden when Ahmad reveals himself and Adelaide Hall's suitably romantic song; the stunning colours in the tent in the Land Of Legend – in fact, the stunning colours throughout; Sabu and Rozsa's triumphant but still wistful finale. Conrad Veidt played the baddie in two of the most incredible movie romances ever, this and Casablanca, and then died. John Justin and June Duprez were great in the leading roles of lovers, both of them slightly and refreshingly stilted, but the parts didn't call for a huge range of emotions: only pure love mattered.

There's a couple of mildly violent images in it, but rest assured this is a glorious feelgood experience with a 100% positive message, it's only a pity that nowadays little kids don't watch this instead of the porn they prefer. One of my Top 10 film favourites, I can't recommend this too much – may it be shown to the end of Time.


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