6.2/10
960
23 user 4 critic

Kismet (1944)

Passed | | Adventure, Fantasy | October 1944 (USA)
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)
Reviews
Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Kismet (1955)
Adventure | Musical | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A roguish poet is given the run of the scheming Wazir's harem while pretending to help him usurp the young caliph.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Stanley Donen
Stars: Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Dolores Gray
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After the murder of his fiancée, a Wyoming ranch hand sets out to find her killer.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Arthur Kennedy, Mel Ferrer
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In order to adopt an abandoned baby, an actress arranges a marriage of convenience with a doctor.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Fred MacMurray, Aline MacMahon
Desire (1936)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An automotive engineer bound for a holiday in Spain meets a sultry jewel thief.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, John Halliday
Seven Sinners (1940)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, John Wayne, Albert Dekker
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In old New Orleans, a beautiful adventuress juggles the attentions of a rich banker and a dashing sea captain.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Bruce Cabot, Roland Young
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In occupied Berlin, an army captain is torn between an ex-Nazi café singer and the U.S. congresswoman investigating her.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, John Lund
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After two years as a Czarist British agent posing as a Russian Commissar, he rescues a Russian countess from her Bolshevik captors.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Robert Donat, Irene Vanbrugh
Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

On the eve of World War II (1939) English officer Ralph Denistoun is in Nazi Germany on an espionage mission to recover a poison gas formula from Prof. Krosigk. He is helped by Lydia and ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Ray Milland, Marlene Dietrich, Murvyn Vye
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

During World War II, all the studios put out "all-star" vehicles which featured virtually every star on the lot--often playing themselves--in musical numbers and comedy skits, and were ... See full summary »

Directors: A. Edward Sutherland, John Rawlins
Stars: George Raft, Vera Zorina, Grace McDonald
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An Englishman vacationing in a Ruritarian kingdom is recruited to impersonate his cousin, the soon-to-be-crowned king when the monarch is drugged and kidnapped.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr, Louis Calhern
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Lily falls in love with the sculptor who leaves her out of fear of commitment.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Brian Aherne, Lionel Atwill
Edit

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
Edit

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

Taglines:

M-G-M's Technicolor Glamor Romance

Genres:

Adventure | Fantasy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oriental Dream See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

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 »
Edit

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

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Once upon a time when old Baghdad was new and shiny, there was a beggar and what a rascal!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Suomalainen filmimies Hollywoodissa (1947) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
KISMET (William Dieterle, 1944) ***
21 December 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

More Arabian Nights stuff, this time emanating from the studio where the lion roared: according to the Internet Movie Database, there are twenty (count 'em) films that go by the name of KISMET and, although the Vincente Minnelli-Howard Keel musical version is the best-known of the lot, this earlier straight adaptation starring Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich is perhaps the best-regarded. For the record, I do have the former on VHS but won't have time to catch it just now and, of all the rest, I'm mostly interested in the 1930 German version (there was another one made in Hollywood the same year) which, like the film under review, was directed by William Dieterle! Speaking of which, I don't quite understand the reasoning of Warner Brothers (who have inherited DVD distribution rights to the MGM film library) behind recently releasing the 1955 version on this format on its own (so to speak, since it actually forms part of a Musical Collection) rather than coupled with the earlier version.

Aged 53, Ronald Colman still cuts a strikingly handsome figure (even when dressed as a beggar) and his silvery hairline is amusingly obscured by the most unseemly of turbans for all but one scene in the film's latter stages. Equally splendid-looking is his 43-year old German co-star who, in the film's most celebrated sequence that was, ironically, later cut for TV screenings because of its 'erotic' content(!), has her legs painted in gold for a veiled dance number before the court of evil Grand Vizier Edward Arnold and Colman (who dubs himself the King of Beggars by day but moonlights as a sovereign of a far-away land). Given the maturing age of the two leads, it's no wonder that two younger actors were recruited in the persons of James Craig (as the Caliph of Bagdad who likes to go incognito through the streets of his kingdom as a gardener's son) and the late Joy Page (Colman's secreted daughter); she had made a memorable screen debut in CASABLANCA (1942) and died earlier this year aged 83.

The cast is rounded up by Florence Bates (as Colman's nagging in-law), Harry Davenport (as Craig's wily adviser) and Hugh Herbert (as one of Colman's would-be comic-relief sidekicks). As was to be expected from Hollywood's premier studio, no expense was spared in bringing this opulent costumer to the screen – including shooting in eye-filling Technicolor amidst impressively-constructed sets – and this effort was rewarded by garnering the film four Academy Award nominations in that year's ceremony…although, as had been the case (and would be again) with similar Oriental ventures, the nominees all went home empty-handed!


16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed