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The Thief of Bagdad (1940)



Average Rating: 8.9/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 0

Dashing, dazzling, and altogether magical, The Thief of Bagdad is an enchanting fantasy for children of all ages.


Average Rating: 9.5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0

Dashing, dazzling, and altogether magical, The Thief of Bagdad is an enchanting fantasy for children of all ages.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 3,772

My Rating

Movie Info

In ancient Bagdad, Abu, a good-natured young thief (Sabu), befriends the deposed king Ahmad (John Justin) as both are imprisoned in the palace dungeon, awaiting execution under orders from the evil vizier Jaffar (Conrad Veidt), who has seized the throne. But they escape and make their way to Basra, where Ahmad, now living as a beggar, meets and falls in love with the Princess (June Duprez), who has been betrothed by her father the Sultan (Miles Malleson, who also wrote the screenplay) to Jaffar.

Dec 3, 2002

United Artists

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (0) | DVD (11)

This 1940 movie is one of the great entertainments. It lifts up the heart.

November 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Alexander Korda's opulent Arabian Nights fantasy suffers from pallid performances and frequently succumbs to kitsch, but it still casts its fragile spell.

November 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Thief of Bagdad is a colorful, lavish and eye-appealing spectacle.

July 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A delightful hocus-pocus of colour, dashing adventure, and special effects.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ranks next to Fantasia as the most beguiling and wondrous film of this troubled season.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A wonderfully atmospheric Arabian Nights adventure for children of all ages.

November 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

An enchanting, supremely mounted fable that deservedly won the techical Oscars in 1940, and still is most enjoyable today.

July 26, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Treating cinema as a giant toy box, Korda resembles a child with an overactive imagination, giddily piling on every exotic and magical conceit the story can handle.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

One of the best ever fantasy films.

October 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

it's impossible not to notice how much of the imagery we associate with "Arabian nights" -- genies, bottles, magic carpets, evil sultans -- comes directly from this film

September 9, 2008 Full Review Source:

This lavish enterprise from producer Alexander Korda reveled in the brave new visual world that The Wizard of Oz explored only the year before.

July 17, 2008 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm a Bollywood take on 1001 Arabian Nights.

June 28, 2008 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Despite some sluggish spots, the result is still dazzling, enough to enchant entirely new generations of dreamy children.

June 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A fable light on condescension but committed enough to the pleasure principle that the audience is served one giddy act of visual sorcery after another.

May 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Not quite as charming or magical as the original…best are Abu's adventures with Ingram's baleful genie, whose meeting on the beach with Abu is an unforgettable highlight.

October 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

Sumptuous colorful fantasy. A true classic of the genre.

November 20, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A great classic fantasy for the whole family.

June 12, 2003
New Times

A childhood favorite....

April 4, 2003
Chico Enterprise-Record

Perhaps the most splendid fantasy film ever made.

February 4, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide of the most inspiring fantasies of all time.

November 14, 2002
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for The Thief of Bagdad

Colorful hooey has committed performances from the cast who remain straight faced amid preposterous situations. However you know that going in so just sit back and enjoy, with kids preferably, the beautiful technicolor, costumes and actors.
March 12, 2010
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Very cute classic with great special effects for movie made in 40`s
December 29, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

It's only a matter of time before hollywood does a big budget, computerized-effects version of this movie starring Shia LeBouf or Zach Effron as Abu. In this, the 1940 version of the film, we have Sabu in the title role that Zach Effron will one day play. Abu befriends Ahmad (the very anglo John Justin), the ruler of Bagdad who is ousted and thrown in prison by the wicked Jaffar (Conrad Veidt), all for the love of the lovely Princess (June Duprez). What follows is a fantasy fairytale filled with green screen giant genies, spiders and squid. There's also flying carpets and flying toy horses, and a crossbow that always shoots whoever you're aiming at right between the eyes. In other words, it's a movie every 8-year old boy should love (I wish I had seen it when I was eight).
April 1, 2009
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

Amazingly imaginative adventure of colorful, epic proportions. a blast if you haven't lost you inner child.
December 28, 2007

Super Reviewer

    1. Abu: How can you be so ungrateful?
    2. Djinni: Grateful? Slaves are not grateful. Not for their freedom!
    – Submitted by Francis L (21 months ago)
    1. Djinni: You're a clever little man little master of the universe, but mortals are weak and frail. If their stomach speaks, they forget their brain. If their brain speaks, they forget their heart. And if their heart speaks [laughter] ... they forget everything.
    – Submitted by Francis L (21 months ago)
    1. Abu: I am Abu the thief. Son of Abu the thief. Grandson of Abu the thief.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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