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Arabian Nights 

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To cure a Prince's murderous madness, Scheherezade tells him a series of wonderous stories.
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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
Mili Avital ...  Scheherezade 2 episodes, 2000
Alan Bates ...  Storyteller 2 episodes, 2000
James Frain ...  Harun al-Rashid / ... 2 episodes, 2000
Tchéky Karyo ...  Black Coda 2 episodes, 2000
Jason Scott Lee ...  Aladdin 2 episodes, 2000
John Leguizamo ...  Genie of the Lamp / ... 2 episodes, 2000
Vanessa Mae Vanessa Mae ...  Princess Zobeide 2 episodes, 2000
Dougray Scott ...  Amin / ... 2 episodes, 2000
Rufus Sewell ...  Ali Baba 2 episodes, 2000
Jim Carter ...  Ja'far 2 episodes, 2000
Peter Guinness ...  Chief Executioner 2 episodes, 2000
Hugh Quarshie ...  Mustappa 2 episodes, 2000
Pik Sen Lim ...  Aladdin's Mother 2 episodes, 2000
Amira Casar ...  Morgiana 2 episodes, 2000
Andy Serkis ...  Kasim 2 episodes, 2000
Ayesha Dharker ...  Coral Lips 2 episodes, 2000
Alexis Conran Alexis Conran ...  Prince Ali 2 episodes, 2000
James Callis ...  Prince Ahmed 2 episodes, 2000
Hari Dhillon ...  Prince Hussain 2 episodes, 2000
John Hallam ...  Demon 2 episodes, 2000
Alexei Sayle ...  BacBac 2 episodes, 2000
Jamila Massey ...  Safil 2 episodes, 2000
Nadim Sawalha ...  Judge Zadic 2 episodes, 2000
Leon Lissek ...  Dr. Ezra 2 episodes, 2000
Junix Inocian ...  Hi-Ching 2 episodes, 2000
Stanley Lebor ...  Faisal 2 episodes, 2000
Jane Lapotaire ...  Miriam 2 episodes, 2000
Stefan Kalipha ...  Abu Nouz 2 episodes, 2000
Benedict Wong ...  Hassan 2 episodes, 2000
Orgun Gitir Orgun Gitir ...  Executioner's Assistant 2 episodes, 2000
Inday Ba ...  Heart's Delight 2 episodes, 2000
Melanie Gutteridge ...  Fair Face 2 episodes, 2000
Burt Kwouk ...  Caliph Beder 2 episodes, 2000
Henry Goodman ...  Sultan Billah 2 episodes, 2000
Maureen O'Farrell Maureen O'Farrell ...  Sultana Billah 2 episodes, 2000
Tony Osoba ...  Sultan Badr Al-Din 2 episodes, 2000
Emma Lewis Emma Lewis ...  Sultana 2 episodes, 2000
Roger Hammond ...  Jerome Gribben 2 episodes, 2000
Kulvinder Ghir ...  Ali's Servant 2 episodes, 2000
David Yip ...  Assad 2 episodes, 2000
Don Warrington ...  Hari Ben Karim 2 episodes, 2000
Cyril Nri Cyril Nri ...  Schaca 2 episodes, 2000
Bhasker Patel ...  Carpet Seller 2 episodes, 2000
Adrian Pang ...  Gulnare 2 episodes, 2000
Simon Gregor Simon Gregor ...  1st Robber 2 episodes, 2000
Oded Fehr ...  2nd Robber 2 episodes, 2000
Simon Finney ...  2nd Guard 2 episodes, 2000
Nasser Memarzia ...  Prosecuting Lawyer 2 episodes, 2000
Chiaki Yamauchi Chiaki Yamauchi ...  Head Maid 2 episodes, 2000
Peter Bayliss ...  1st Physician 2 episodes, 2000
Sara Houghton Sara Houghton ...  Hand Maiden 2 episodes, 2000
Barry Kamen Barry Kamen ...  1st Guard 2 episodes, 2000
Ysé Tran Ysé Tran ...  Bubble Dancer 2 episodes, 2000
Hassani Shapi ...  1st Army Captain 2 episodes, 2000
Yaman Tüzcet Yaman Tüzcet ...  Elderly Mourner 2 episodes, 2000
Ufuk Asiliskendar Ufuk Asiliskendar ...  Clerk 2 episodes, 2000
Jayden Spring Jayden Spring ...  Child 2 episodes, 2000


Long ago, the Sultan Shahryar (Dougray Scott) has gone mad after his traumatizing near assassination, in which his wife collaborated and died at his hands as a result. Now he has a paranoid suspicion of women which he plans to express in a diabolical plan, and that is to marry a woman from the harem and then have her executed the next morning. To prevent this, the Grand Vizier's daughter and a childhood friend of the Sultan, Scheherezade (Mili Avital), offers herself to be that bride. Now, she must gamble that her plan will work as she tries to cure his madness by telling him story after wondrous story, which include the tales of Ali Baba (Rufus Sewell) and the Forty Thieves and Aladdin (Jason Scott Lee) and his Wonderful Lamp. All the while, the Sultan's villainous brother is making plans of his own, and Scheherezade's stories are more useful against him than anyone can anticipate. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When Night Falls, the Adventure Begins!


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Germany | Turkey | Jordan | USA



Release Date:

30 April 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Arabian Nights See more »

Filming Locations:

Antalya Studios, Turkey See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The name of Ali Baba's (Rufus Sewell's) camel is "Saffra", which means "traveller". See more »


There are about 20 oil jars in the cart when it is tipped over (in "Ali Baba"). As soon as the jars are shown rolling down the hill, there are obviously far more. See more »


Princess Zobeide: Aladdin, you're everything a prince should be! But... your mother...
Aladdin: [hurriedly] She's what they call an... eccentric.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The VHS version of the movie has omits the most important story in the movie, which is the turning point for the Sultan. It is the story of the sultan who conintually switches places with the beggar until the beggar finally ends up becoming the sultan after the real sultan is killed. See more »


Referenced in Superstore: Wellness Fair (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

A true jewel of the Orient
30 March 2002 | by arumboldSee all my reviews

"Arabian Nights" is continuing proof that it is possible to put together a highly entertaining, superbly-acted television program with a cast of primarily lesser-known actors and actresses. The performances in the movie are almost uniformly first-rate. For example, John Leguizamo is hilarious and totally believable as Aladdin's genie(s), and far better than Robin Williams' portrayal in Disney's "Aladdin." Mili Avital is enchanting as Scheherezade, and Dougray Scott and James Frain are terrific as the warring brothers Schariar and Schazenan (an interesting re-telling of the original base story line). The ever-reliable Rufus Sewell and Alan Bates give very enjoyable portrayals of Ali Baba and the Storyteller, respectively, and Jason Scott Lee gives a very amusing turn as Aladdin. I particularly enjoyed the segment of the constantly fighting Princes of Yemen, Ali, Ahmed, and Hussain (played with gusto by relative unknowns Alexis Conran, James Callis, and Hari Dhillon). While it is the acting that really shines in "Arabian Nights," the set designs and costuming are truly magical. The special effects are also very good considering the budget limitations of the small screen.

If you're going to rent or buy this on video/DVD, be careful to find the 175 minute version. I don't know what they cut from the shorter version, but honestly you won't want to miss ANY of this marvelous TV movie.

I really hope that Hallmark decides to do a sequel to this with a few more of the tales from the Arabian Nights. There is certainly a precedent for it with the "Sarah, Plain and Tall" films.

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