Alexander Korda

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The Thief Of Bagdad Review


Very Good
Newly re-released by Criterion, The Thief of Bagdad, a minor classic of early Technicolor artistry, is ready to entertain a new generation of kids who have learned all they know about those Arabian nights from Robin Williams, God help them. Aladdin this is not. The colorful epic is a real exercise in production design, matte painting, and rudimentary double-process special effects that may have wowed the masses at the time but are now simply and charmingly antique.

The overstuffed story begins when King Ahmad (John Justin), who truth be told looks more like an Oxford rower than an Arabian king, is tricked by his evil number two Jaffar (Conrad Veidt) into leaving the safety of his palace to meet his subjects. Once on the street, Jaffar has him arrested and tossed into a dungeon, where he meets Abu the thief (Sabu), a charismatic 15-year-old Huck Finn type who loves the life of the orphan adventurer.

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