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In the world of Arabian Nights, Abu Amdar (Paul Henreid), head general of the Khalid, who is attacking Damascus, arranges a truce between the city and the Khalid's forces, and the Khalid (John Sutton') is furious. Amdar escapes to help the Persians, a decision prompted by his love for the Damascan Princes Zafir (Helen Gilbert). With the aid of Sheherazade (Jeff Donnell), Alladin (Robert Clary), Sinbad (Lon Chaney Jr., Ali Baba (Philip Van Zandt) and less-than-forty of his thieves, Abu Amdar soon sets things right in old Damascus...and Columbia's back lot.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Both Universal and Columbia had Arabian Nights sets on their lots built for a couple of big budget epics they had done in the Forties, Universal for Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and Columbia for A Thousand and One Arabian Nights. Because of those sets and the cost to construct them, the movie-going public was treated every year to at least one exotic Middle East tale of adventure.
The cycle at Columbia was starting to run down though with Thief of Damascus. Someone over at Columbia got the bright idea to take as many of the fabled characters from the Arabian Nights and put them into one film.
The plot such as it is involves Paul Henreid as the number one general of John Sutton as Khalid the Conqueror making a way too generous treaty with the sultan of Damascus. Since they don't call him the Conqueror for nothing, Sutton decides to take charge in the usual fashion.
Before the end of the film, Aladdin, Sinbad, Scherezade, and Ali Baba and those forty thieves make their appearance and bring about a general righting of wrongs.
This was supposed to be tongue in cheek, but sad to say the satire fell kind of flat. Besides Henreid and Sutton others who could barely keep a straight face are Elena Verdugo, Lon Chaney, Jr., Robert Clary, Philip Van Zandt, Helen Gilbert, and Jeff Donnell as a puffy cheeked Scherezade who looks like she has the mumps.
The idea was interesting, but it fell short of the mark.
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