The caliph of Baghdad must go into hiding with a group of traveling performers when his brother usurps the throne. Both brothers desire a beautiful dancing girl, who is torn between power and true love.
Cleopatra, after the civil war that followed the assassination of Caesar, met with Marc Antony in Assyria where they planned the defense of Egypt against the Romans. Before leaving, ... See full summary »
1249 A.D. Shalimar, an Egyptian princess, striving to rid her country of its Bedouin conquerors, forms an alliance with Prince Haidi, son of the Caliph of Baghdad. She practices her intrigues both at the court and, disguised as a dancing girl, in the market place.
For the most part, I only enjoy the kind of movie that allows one to escape the current time into the future or past. This movie is pure escapism. The dancing starts almost immediately, and Debra Paget in her "purple harem" bikini dress simply has no equal in film in my opinion. Her dancing, while sultry, is surpassed by her dance in Fritz Lang's Tiger of Eschnapur, available on DVD, where she played the temple dancer Seetha.
One problem with the movie is the closed setting. There are few outdoor scenes shot, and they as well as other scenes are a bit claustrophobic. The same locations are used over and over again, but with some interesting secret passages and waterways. Her secret double identity is totally unbelievable with beauty of that magnitude. Debra even wields a sabre and holds 2 enemy soldiers at bay on a staircase, she could do it all.
What does work is Debra Paget as a princess. With her beauty, she certainly would be the center of attention anywhere at any time in history. This movie, when hopefully it becomes available on DVD, will be a must buy. Overall, taken with a bit of humor, I loved it.
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