The Thief of Bagdad Reviews
This (or the original) is surely a huge inspiration for the Aladdin-series. Djinnies, Abu, sultans, flying carpets, princesses - you name it. Supercool music in this very imaginative film with a dialogue that carries a lot of wisdom. It's also quite fast paced - there is a lot of happenings in this story, but nothing seem unneccessary or dragged out. Neat effects - must have had a huge budget. It also won an Oscar for it's effects, among with two others in close categories.
A superior fairytale and a true classic that has aged surprizingly well.
9 out of 10 wishes.
It would be foolish to consider that this would not have happened without Larry Butler or The Thief of Bagdad this is where it started, a British musical from 1940.
The film is good and quite interesting, not the best Powell picture and would lead into his forming The Archers with Emeric Pressburger to produce some of the greatest British cinema in my opinion.
The thief of Baghdad is definitely a worthwhile fantasy film and despite its old age a good treat for the all family and children of all age.
Obviously, by 2013 standards, the special effects are a bit laughable. But consider how it looked to a pre-World War II audience. Yowza! Frying horses, flying carpets, giant genies, beautiful women, beautiful men. So much fun!
No less than six directors are listed for the technicolor movie which starred Sabu as the boy thief, Abu, John Justin as the dreamily in love deposed monarch, Ahmad and June Duprez as the lovely princess sought by Ahmad and pursued by the evil vizier, Jaffar, played by a sinister Conrad Veidt. The giant genie is ably acted by Rex Ingram.
Ahmad is treacherously deposed by Jaffar and when later arrested by that traitorous serpent, he and the boy, Abu, suffer what are clearly incapacitating fates. Ahmad is rendered blind and Abu becomes a lovable mutt. Their adventures through the gaily decorated Hollywood backlots are fun but the special effects make this film work.
Two men were responsible for everything from a magic flying carpet to the gargantuan genie who pops out of a bottle with a tornado-like black swirl: Lawrence W. Butler and Tom Howard. (Howard, incidentally, did the special effects for the 1961 version of this film. Both men had long and distinguished careers in technical wizardry.)
Duprez is outstandingly lovely while little called on for serious acting. Justin's Ahmad projects a driven but dreamy romanticism untouched by erotic impulses. Sabu is really the central actor in many scenes and he's very good. For a movie meant for kids as well as adults there's a fair amount of violence but of the bloodless kind. Still, I don't think anyone under eight ought to see "Thief of Bagdad."
This film makes periodic appearances on TV but today my teenage son and I saw it in a theater with quite a few youngsters present. It was great to see computer-besotted kids in an affluent community respond with cheers and applause to special effects that must seem primitive to them.
"Thief of Bagdad" is a pre-war Hollywood classic from a time when strong production values often resulted in enduringly attractive and important releases. This is one of the best of its kind.