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A Clasic "Eastern" Back when we knew a bit less about the real Middle East, the "Easterns",Arabian-Nights-inspired fantasy movies, were a popular genre--and "The Thief of Bagdad" is the granddaddy of them all. The acting is very good and the special effects (no computers then) are a wonder.
The movie is splendid entertainment, but for those who insist on reality, the added discussion material deals with how Easterns fit in with ideas about colonialism that were current back then.great disney alternative We were getting tired of the disney princess aladdin story. Our five year old daughter loved this more original story -and so did we. Good story telling, neat old-school special effects.A true adventure classic I remembered this as a child, loved it then and still do. The effects are marvelous for the time, and even for now. Sabu was beleivable; Conrad Veidt was villainous; and the love interest was more steamy than explicit. However, for me the best role was Rex Ingram as the djin -- in those days parts that memorable for large black actors were very rare. The next best thing was the music -- after all these years I can still (badly )sing Sabu's "tinker,tailor" song The Criterion remastering was outstanding as are all the films they do.
In sum: A treat I treasure. A classic that can never be topped! What a pleasure to immerse myself in this fantasy classic once more, in all its brilliant Technicolor splendor! Forget CGI, MTV editing, allegedly gritty "realism," bullet time, and all the other superficial tricks used to prop up a basically bad film, because this one has the only truly vital ingredient required: terrific storytelling! And the cast couldn't be better -- especially Sabu, who brings vitality, humor, and joyful energy to every scene he's in, whether plying his trade as a thief, or climbing a giant cobweb within a monstrous statue in a temple atop the world.
Let me repeat that: "climbing a giant cobweb within a monstrous statue in a temple atop the world." Really, adventure just doesn't get any better than this! And there's so much more here, from an evil magician of suave, moustache-twirling malevolence, to a handsome & heroic Prince & his lovely Princess, to a genie exuberantly bursting free from centuries of imprisonment, to ... but why go on? If you aren't hooked by now, this clearly isn't the film for you.
Frankly, even without the copious extras, this is a film worth owning. But Criterion has done its usual excellent job, providing us with crisp sound & dazzling restoration, as well as two commentary tracks & several informative features. All of these are wonderful additions to the film ... but it's the film itself that matters. I just hope that nobody ever decides to remake & "improve" it, because that's simply not possible. Most highly recommended!Stop, Thief! The movie has a great plot and some of the best actors ever. Conrad Veidt as Jaffar is the Grandfather of Vadar and Aabu makes a great Abu. June Duprez, who has a cute behind, plays The Princess. No, no name, just The Princess. Kids, parents and small animals will enjoy this movie. I really enjoyed the extras that roamed the streets, the market place, the feeling of entering true cities. The extras, such as the commentaries, radio interviews and the still gallery really add to the, already, great value.