6.2/10
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23 user 3 critic

Kismet (1944)

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, ... See full summary »

Director:

William Dieterle

Writers:

John Meehan (screenplay), Edward Knoblock (play)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

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An Englishman on a Ruritarian holiday must impersonate the king when the rightful monarch, a distant cousin, is drugged and kidnapped.

Directors: John Cromwell, W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Ronald Colman, Madeleine Carroll, C. Aubrey Smith
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ronald Colman ... Hafiz
Marlene Dietrich ... Jamilla
James Craig ... Caliph
Edward Arnold ... The Grand Vizier
Hugh Herbert ... Feisal
Joy Page ... Marsinah (as Joy Ann Page)
Florence Bates ... Karsha
Harry Davenport ... Agha
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Moolah
Robert Warwick ... Alfife
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Fantasy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oriental Dream See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Life Magazine reported that Marlene Dietrich had her legs painted with four coats of gold paint, and her hair sprinkled with powdered gold for her exotic dance number. See more »

Goofs

Ronald Colman's character eats with his left hand, which is taboo in Arabic culture. See more »

Quotes

Karsha: [Referring to Hafiz's daughter, Marsinah] You think she's going to wither away waiting for your fairy tales to come true?
Hafiz: She's waiting for her fate in all its splendor.
Karsha: The fate for a beggar's daughter is a camel boy.
Hafiz: Silence, misery!
See more »

Connections

Version of Kismet (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Willow in the Wind
(1944) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Sung by Joy Page (dubbed by Doreen Tryden) and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Old Bagdad via 1940s Hollywood...
24 June 2006 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Third version of popular story (without the musical score) involving beggar/magician in Bagdad who impersonates a prince. Meanwhile, the beggar's daughter falls for a camel-boy who's really a prince in disguise! Somehow, Marlene Dietrich gets shoehorned in as sheltered royalty who rebels by doing a hot dance routine which must've been pretty risqué for 1944 (she's slathered in gold paint). MGM adventure does a nice job rewriting the original play by Edward Knoblock, featuring a colorful production and welcome comedic elements. It's jaunty fun with a fairly fast pace, hindered only by Ronald Coleman's miscasting in the lead (and his surprising lack of chemistry opposite Dietrich). **1/2 from ****


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