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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Bijou, a saloon singer with a reputation for inciting brouhahas, is one of several deportees from a south Pacific island to arrive at another U.S. protectorate, Boni Komba. She becomes very... See full summary »
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
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 »
Ronald Colman's character eats with his left hand, which is taboo in Arabic culture. See more »
[Referring to Hafiz's daughter, Marsinah]
You think she's going to wither away waiting for your fairy tales to come true?
She's waiting for her fate in all its splendor.
The fate for a beggar's daughter is a camel boy.
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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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