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


Vincente Minnelli, Stanley Donen (uncredited)


Charles Lederer (screenplay), Luther Davis (screenplay) | 3 more credits »





Complete credited cast:
Howard Keel ... Poet
Ann Blyth ... Marsinah
Dolores Gray ... Lalume
Vic Damone ... Caliph
Monty Woolley ... Omar
Sebastian Cabot ... Wazir
Jay C. Flippen ... Jawan
Mike Mazurki ... Chief Policeman
Jack Elam ... Hasan-Ben
Ted de Corsia ... Police Sub-altern


Like a tale spun by Scheherazade, Kismet follows the remarkable and repeated changes of fortune that engulf a poor poet. It all happens in one incredible day when Kismet (Fate) takes a hand. Written by Betty Frayne

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


FAMED STAGE HIT GLORIFIED ON THE SCREEN! [poster - all caps] See more »


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Did You Know?


Jack Cole choreographed (uncredited) Marlene Dietrich's seductive dances in MGM's Kismet (1944), starring Ronald Colman. Jack Cole choreographed Edwin Lester and Homer Curran's Los Angeles and San Francisco Civic Light Opera 1953 summer production of "Kismet" prior to the show's New York City opening in December, 1953. Arthur Freed hired Jack Cole for the 1955 film musical to duplicate and re-stage the dances he had choreographed for the Broadway production. See more »


When the poet is about to be taken, one of the abductors threatened him with a knife. When trying to put the knife back in the sheath, he gives up and just stuffs it into his waistband. See more »


Caliph: I was stepped upon!
Omar: Oh, inconceivable, All Highest, but true. You were incontrovertibly stepped upon.
See more »


Referenced in Sleepless in Seattle (1993) See more »


Sands of Time
Music by Aleksandr Borodin
Music Adapted by Bob Wright (as Robert Wright) and Chet Forrest (as George Forrest)
Lyrics by Bob Wright (as Robert Wright) and Chet Forrest (as George Forrest)
Sung by Howard Keel
See more »

User Reviews

Harum Scarum
23 February 2004 | by ptb-8See all my reviews

Thanks to the mega surprise success of SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, and the income of $7m in rentals (wow!) MGM lurched into a series of 'robust' macho musicals: ATHENA, ROSE MARIE, HIT THE DECK, and the best of all: IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER. KISMET today, 50 years later, it is best enjoyed knowing it came from that mindset and is a product of a lavish budget itself: $2.6m. Like all those above it made money, but only just. In 2004 it is the production values and the music/dancing that is sensational and compared to modern film production quality is positively a masterpiece. I am sure even Madonna has seen this because the Market Place dance number is certainly recycled into her music video imagery. Dolores Gray is suitably brassy and the absolutely awesome NIGHT OF MY NIGHTS number with Vic Damone is one of the most visually enchanting set pieces committed to film ever. Try and see it in cinema scope, as pan/scan TV prints cut the sides off and the impressive visuals are crippled. It's quite rude too.

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Release Date:

23 December 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kismet See more »


Box Office


$2,692,960 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)| Stereo


Color (photographed in) (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »

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