12 user 1 critic

Les 1001 nuits (1990)

Zany subversion of the 1001 Nights myth that skips all of the stories and simply focuses on the lovely Scheherazade's escape from the lustful king with the help of a magic lamp and a time traveling astrologist.


Philippe de Broca


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Zeta-Jones ... Sheherazade
Gérard Jugnot ... Jimmy Genious
Stéphane Freiss ... Aladin
Thierry Lhermitte ... The King
Vittorio Gassman ... Sinbad
Roger Carel ... The Great Vizier
Marc Dudicourt Marc Dudicourt
Georges Montillier Georges Montillier ... The Executioner
Alfredo Pea Alfredo Pea ... Agib
Valérie Rojan Valérie Rojan
Eric Métayer ... Abdullah
Joy Graham Joy Graham ... Mrs. Wilson
Maurice Lane Maurice Lane ... Mr. Wilson
Tim Holm Tim Holm ... The Chief Inspector
Raymond Aquilon Raymond Aquilon ... The Grand Eunuch


A satirical subversive take on the 1001 Nights legend that skips all the stories and puts Scheherazade herself at the center of the adventure. In ancient times, nubile but virginal Scheherazade must use her charms and wits to escape the Middle Eastern king who plans to bed her whether she likes it or not. She's helped on her journey by an astrologist from her own time teleported by a genie to present day London, where he became a proper English gentleman in order to fit it. Whenever Scheherazade is in trouble, he uses the time portal in his TV set to travel back and forth through time and send her the help she needs, including anachronistic escape vehicles like a motorcycle or an airplane. After temporarily teaming up with a couple of more allies, visiting London and losing all of her clothes more than once in the process, Scheherazade realizes that she can't just run forever and comes up with a risky plan. Written by Cyril Morcrette <cyril@ceci.mit.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Scheherazade's story will be told once again. See more »


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France | Italy | Germany


French | English

Release Date:

11 April 1990 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Sheherazade See more »

Filming Locations:

Malta See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


For the scene where Sheherezade falls naked into the lap of Sinbad the sailor Catherine Zeta-Jones did the fall herself completely unclothed. See more »


The Great Vizier: [walks over to Sheherazade and wakes her up] I must cut off your head.
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Featured in Celebrity Naked Ambition (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

excellent lightweight super-fast script, though it's a long film
20 December 2001 | by susannealiaSee all my reviews

Part 1 is amusing, though seems a tad long, along the way - but hold on! Watch out and keep pace with this comedy as it crescendoes hilariously all the way to the end. Though part 11 also takes quite a while to see - it makes it well worth any waiting in the end.

Enjoy the light look and feel, but keep your eyes and ears peeled and ready for highly entertaining spot on laugh lines bouncing off the international cast of comedians, all ready to play a line from their own neck of the woods and backgrounds.

Especially recommended for anyone with some personal knowledge of people with excellent English manners, or those with lively Arabic temperaments and sense of time and place: be ready to hold on to your belly as you laugh!

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