In ancient Bagdad, Hafiz is a beggar - self coined the King of Beggars - and a master of the slight of hand. He often likes to wander the streets late at night pretending to be a Prince, ...
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Banished from various U.S. protectorates in the Pacific, a saloon entertainer uses her femme-fatale charms to woo politicians, navy personnel, gangsters, riff-raff, judges and a ship's doctor in order to achieve her aims.
In ancient Bagdad, Hafiz is a beggar - self coined the King of Beggars - and a master of the slight of hand. He often likes to wander the streets late at night pretending to be a Prince, specifically of Hassir located in the farthest reaches of the empire. In the process, he has entered into a passionate romance with a beautiful woman, Jamilla. He is unaware that she is one of the queens of the Grand Vizier - the most powerful man in the empire - to who she was provided in a power deal with Macedonia, the deal agreed to by Jamilla only under the condition that she retain her independence. In turn, Jamilla knows that her lover is not who he says he is, she, however, not having any idea that he is mere street beggar. She doesn't mind his lies as they are a means to escape into a fantasy world away from the reality of life with the Grand Vizier. At home, Hafiz has told his daughter, Marsinah, since she was a child that she would marry a prince, rather than the reality of she probably ...Written by
Karinska was 'borrowed by Raoul Pene Du Bois" at Paramount to undertake the rebuilding of the notorious "Mink for the Minx" gown worn by Ginger Rogers in the Kurt Weill musical "Lady In The Dark" being filmed at Paramount minus Kurt Weill's music. Ironic both films were filmed and initially released in glorious Technicolor. See more »
In the bazaar scene about 40 minutes in, a red macaw, a bird of South America, is seen on a perch. It would not be in Baghdad in the days of the Arabian Nights. See more »
Once upon a time when old Baghdad was new and shiny, there was a beggar and what a rascal!
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Often overshadowed these days by the musical version which came a decade later, this film by William Dieterle has the distinction of being one of the best examples of a 1940s Technicolor film there is. And with colour, no one shone out from the screen more than Marlene Dietrich. Here she is as Jamilla, garlanded in gold and looking positively luminous - her appearance in this movie alone would justify watching it.
Ronald Colman, that debonair English actor, plays the role of the beggar, Hafiz (which would be memorably played by Howard Keel in the musical). He's a little starchy and looks prematurely middle-aged, but he was always a very good actor, and here is no exception. James Craig is colourless as the Caliph but Edward Arnold and Hugh Herbert add humour as the Grand Vizier and Feisal.
The strength of this 'Kismet' though it definitely how it looks. It is how the films of the golden era were at their peak, and this version doesn't get shown on TV anywhere near enough.
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