5.3/10
71
5 user 2 critic

1001 Nights (1968)

La esclava del paraíso (original title)
Omar and his friend, Ali, returning to Moorish Granada after several years in the Middle East, discover that an evil usurper is now in power. With the help of a female genie, Omar sets about restoring freedom and justice.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Mizziana
... Omar
... Hixxum
... The Favorite
... Ali (as Reuben Rojo)
... Mamet
Ana Casares ... Miriam
... Cassim
Pilar Donoghue
Eva Russo
Guillermo Méndez
... Ahmed (as Bart Barry)
Kary Estenson
Eugenio Galadini
Charly Bravo ... (as Carlos Bravo)
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Storyline

Omar, the son the of vizier of Granada, discovers after years abroad that power in his Moorish home has been taken over by the evil Hixxum and the ambitious harem favorite. Helped by his loyal friend Ali and the 'third class' bottle jinn Mizziana, Omar must protect the people, save the rural resistance and overthrow the rule of terror inside the palace. Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

23 May 1969 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

1001 Nights  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
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A pleasant re-hash of familiar material
9 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

While packaged as an "Arabian Nights" kind of movie, this isn't set in Arabia but rather in Moorish Spain around the cities of Seville and Granada. Nor does it have much to do, in a literary sense, with the classic "Arabian Nights" tales. However, those looking for an agreeable "Saturday matinee" sort of movie will find a number of small pleasures contained herein.

The plot is that venerable one about the returning son who finds his father murdered and his place usurped by a powerful villain. As usual, the hero has a sidekick who provides some comic relief and, not surprisingly, there's a pretty girl who injects the necessary dose of romance.

Raf Vallone would seem to be a good choice as the villain but he isn't given much to do and his scenes lack the required flair. Similarly, Ruben Rojo makes such a half-hearted sidekick that his part could have been eliminated without regret. On the other hand, Luciana Paluzzi is a visual delight as the genie who springs out of a bottle and into the hero's arms, and Jeff Cooper is suitably stalwart as this hero. Along with such notables as Kirk Douglas and Cary Grant, Cooper has a distinctive chin-dimple which adds interest to his almost-handsome face.

As is often the case in these affairs, the hero winds up captured and put into bondage, but the results are a bit disappointing. Admittedly, Jeff Cooper looks good with his shirt off but he's bound to an X-shaped cross in an unsatisfactory way. For one thing, the shape of the X is too narrow to allow for a properly spreadeagled position, and for another, Cooper isn't really stretched on it but instead simply stands in front of it with token chains on his wrists and ankles. However, he suffers appropriately under a chest-tearing lash and there's a nice bit when Raf Vallone threatens him with a hot iron aimed at his much-too-talkative mouth.


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