4.7/10
13
1 user

Abdullah's Harem (1955)

Abdulla the Great (original title)
Abdullah, absolute monarch of a wealthy Middle Eastern country, has everything a man could want. Everything, that is, until he falls for a beautiful model. She rejects his advances, however... See full summary »

Director:

Gregory Ratoff

Writers:

Boris Ingster, Ismet Regeila (novel) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A teenage American girl while visiting her father, is thrown into London society during the "Debutante Season".

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall, John Saxon
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Scottish knight in France to facilitate a marriage between a rich and beautiful countess and his aging uncle becomes involved in court intrigue.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Robert Taylor, Kay Kendall, Robert Morley
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Charles Hathaway wakes up in West Wales with no recollection of who he is or how he got there. With the help of a Cardiff specialist he traces his life back to his gorgeous wife and their ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Gilliat
Stars: Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall, Cecil Parker
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A television given as a retirement present is sold on to different households, causing misery each time.

Director: Anthony Pelissier
Stars: Stanley Holloway, Peggy Cummins, Jack Watling
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Victor Fabian is a musical genius whose eccentricities are kept in check by his wife, until she discovers him "auditioning" a sultry young pianist. She walks out on him and his career ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Yul Brynner, Kay Kendall, Geoffrey Toone
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Small-time Soho hustler gets caught up in the murder of an ex-girl friend, evades the police and finally helps them to corner the real murderer.

Director: Richard Vernon
Stars: Cesar Romero, Kay Kendall, Edward Underdown
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Boxing drama following the lives of 5 different fighters and their reasons for becoming boxers.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Jack Warner, Robert Beatty, Bill Owen
London Town (1946)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An aging music hall performer returns to London believing he's the star of a new show. When he discovers that he's only slated to be the understudy, his daughter sabotages the revue's star ... See full summary »

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Sid Field, Greta Gynt, Tessie O'Shea
Quo Vadis (1951)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A fierce Roman commander becomes infatuated with a beautiful Christian hostage and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emperor Nero.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Anthony Mann
Stars: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn
Curtain Up (1952)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In a small town in the 1950's a repertory company meets on Monday morning to start rehearsing the following week's play. This is a ghastly thing written by the aunt of one of the theatre's ... See full summary »

Director: Ralph Smart
Stars: Robert Morley, Margaret Rutherford, Kay Kendall
Les Girls (1957)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After writing a tell-all book about her days in the dance troupe "Barry Nichols and Les Girls", Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall) is sued for libeling her fellow dancer Angele (Taina Elg). A Rash&... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the 1950's days of only BBC television, a wet-behind-the-ears producer has the idea of basing a family drama series on a real-life happily married actor couple. Unfortunately he chooses ... See full summary »

Director: Muriel Box
Stars: Peter Finch, Kay Kendall, Muriel Pavlow
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Gregory Ratoff ... Abdulla
Kay Kendall ... Ronnie
Marina Berti ... Aziza
Sydney Chaplin ... Ahmed
Alexander D'Arcy ... Marco
Mary Costes Mary Costes ... The Countess
Marti Stevens Marti Stevens ... Singer
Edit

Storyline

Abdullah, absolute monarch of a wealthy Middle Eastern country, has everything a man could want. Everything, that is, until he falls for a beautiful model. She rejects his advances, however, along with his offers of riches and luxury, chosing instead an officer in the king's army as her lover. As all of this is going on, the ruler is oblivious to the growing discontent among his subjects, and the threat of revolt that is increasing with each passing day. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | Egypt

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Abdullah's Harem See more »

Filming Locations:

Egypt

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Tu peux Chercher
Music by Georges Auric
Lyrics by Jacques Larue
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Abdulla Is Not So Great, But Kay Kendall Is!
31 August 2010 | by JohnHowardReidSee all my reviews

Kay Kendall become a popular cult idol throughout the 1960s. After her tragic death from leukemia in 1959, movie lovers were dosed with constant repeats of Genevieve, Fast and Loose, Doctor in the House, The Constant Husband, Simon and Laura, Quentin Durward, Les Girls, The Reluctant Debutante and Once More With Feeling. In fact, every film she ever made from Genevieve (1953 onwards was constantly revived not only on television but even theatrically. With two odd exceptions! Meet Mr Lucifer (1953) was never shown. Nor was Abdulla the Great. Television executives had good reason to blackball Meet Mr Lucifer, a merciless satire on the whole TV industry, but Abdulla the Great? One of Kay's best roles, in which she is gorgeously photographed by Lee Garmes and most stylishly costumed? Even the usually hard-to-please Monthly Film Bulletin singled out her performance, describing it as "most persuasive".

Abdulla, of course, is meant to be taken as a blatant impersonation of King Farouk. But whether you get the satirical intent or not, doesn't really matter. Ratoff invigorates the role with his usual gusty pizazz. In his playing, in fact, he comes across as far more powerful a figure than is represented by his timid, rather routine direction, though perhaps he gave a few good acting tips to Kay Kendall who is absolutely outstanding here. These are easily her finest moments in the cinema, easily creaming her horn solo in Genevieve or her constant combats with a tempestuous Yul Brynner in Once More With Feeling or her decorative alliance with real-life husband Rex Harrison in The Reluctant Debutante.

The other main players are somewhat less than adequate, particularly Kay's love interest, Captain Farid (woodenly enacted by Sydney Chaplin). If memory serves me correctly, Alex D'Arcy as Abdulla's chief adviser is also disappointingly lackluster in a role that would seem made-to-order.

Abdulla was quite lavishly produced, obviously on authentic Egyptian locations, and superbly photographed by ace cinematographer Lee Garmes (who deserved an Academy Award for his work on Gone With The Wind—he photographed almost the entire first hour—but didn't get one).


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed