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The Palace of Arabian Knights (1905)

Le palais des mille et une nuits (original title)
A poor but honest young man wins the hand of a beautiful Princess after facing a series of exciting adventures involving apparitions, cartwheeling skeletons, a dragon, and plump dancing girls from the Folies Bergere.


Georges Méliès


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Credited cast:
Georges Méliès ... The Sorcerer Khalafar


Combining opulently designed scenery, lavish ensembles, and an abundance of theatrical props with a festival of spectacular visual effects, this astonishing oriental féerie of thirty impressive tableaux forms a burlesque concoction of Asian exoticism and the Folies Bergère. Although penniless, the noble and love-smitten Prince Sourire (Smile) of Arabia aspires to marry the alluring Princess Indigo, daughter of the powerful Sultan Rajah, unbeknownst to him that the love of his life is already promised to the unscrupulous usurer, Sakaram. However, the inconsolable youth is not alone. By a welcome twist of fate, the puissant genie of the lamp and mighty sorcerer, Khalafar, takes Smile under his wing, furnishing him with a formidable enchanted sword to confront the innumerable pitfalls strewn in his path. Up against murderous skeletons, malevolent djinns, and a furious dragon, the valiant prince will eventually find himself before the munificent Gold Fairy at the glorious Palace of the ... Written by Nick Riganas

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Release Date:

29 May 1905 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Palace of Arabian Knights See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Star-Film See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (hand-colored)| Black and White
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Did You Know?


Referenced in Filmstunde: Filmstunde 4 (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

The Palace of the Arabian Nights (Melies)
20 March 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Palace Of The Arabian Nights, The (1905)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

aka Le Palais des mille et une nuits

A 20-minute epic from Melies tells the typical story of a princess who wants to marry the young man she loves but her father refuses. The boy is visited by some sort of spirit who sends him on a quest and if he can overcome everything that will be thrown at him then the boy will receive riches. This isn't your typical Melies film from this period as this here runs ten-times longer than the normal films he was producing. With that said, even though a narration track was added for this film, I still found it rather confusing and in the end it might look good but it's not nearly entertaining enough. I think everyone knows the story here but there's way too much time spent on scenes that amount to nothing including one with some dancing girls. There's some minimum action including a nice sequence where the man must battle some skeletons followed by a fire breathing dragon. This stuff here was quite good and the film needed more stuff like this but we're often left with scenes of the boy just wondering around. The film was in black and white but many of the scenes were hand-tinted and for the most part it looked excellent.

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