Kismet

Kismet

4.0 1
Director: Vincente Minnelli, Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Dolores Gray

Cast: Vincente Minnelli, Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Dolores Gray

     
 

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This fourth film version of the warhorse Edward Knoblock theatrical piece Kismet was based on the Broadway musical version of the same property. Howard Keel stars as Hadji, the poet of old Baghdad, who goes from beggar to millionaire in a single day. Hadji's daughter Marsinah (Ann Blyth) falls in love with the young Caliph (Vic Damone), while Lalume (Dolores

Overview

This fourth film version of the warhorse Edward Knoblock theatrical piece Kismet was based on the Broadway musical version of the same property. Howard Keel stars as Hadji, the poet of old Baghdad, who goes from beggar to millionaire in a single day. Hadji's daughter Marsinah (Ann Blyth) falls in love with the young Caliph (Vic Damone), while Lalume (Dolores Gray), the sexy wife of the despotic Wazir (Sebastian Cabot), sets her sights on Hadji. Meanwhile, the Wazir plots and plans to topple the Caliph from the throne and to add Marsinah to his own harem. Making periodic appearances is Omar Khayyam, played as a doddering old meddler by Monty Woolley. The Robert Wright-George Forrest musical score, based on themes by Borodin, includes such standards as "Baubles, Bangles and Beads," "This is My Beloved," "Stranger in Paradise" and "Not Since Ninevah." Though the dancing girls in the film are more modestly dressed than their stage counterparts, they are put through some fairly sensuous paces by choreographer Jack Cole. Kismet was good for another go-round in 1967, when it was adapted for television with Jose Ferrer, Barbara Eden, Anna Maria Alberghetti, George Chakiris and Hans Conried in the cast.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
By the mid-1950s, operetta had fallen out of fashion; Kismet, the cinematic version of the hit Broadway musical, tried to make its origins more palatable by injecting a large dose of comedy, but the result is too stiff, slow and stilted to really work. Making matters worse, aside from some of choreographer Jack Cole's slinky, sensual dances, there's little of the heat that the stage version offered. Director Vincente Minnelli must take the lion's share of the blame for this; never exactly comfortable with overt sexuality in his films, he particularly seems to shy away from it here. The entire film suffers from stodgy, uninspired direction, although there is plenty of eye-catching, opulent décor -- always a Minnelli strong point. Howard Keel tries hard, but the role requires both a better actor and one with a greater presence. He sounds good, of course, as does Ann Blyth, who gets the big hits -- "Baubles, Bangles and Beads," "Stranger in Paradise," and "And This is My Beloved." Unfortunately, she shares the last two with a miscast and boring Vic Damone. Dolores Gray livens things up considerably, wrapping her luscious belt around "Not Since Ninevah" and several others. With a more engaged director, Kismet could have been consistently enjoyable; as it is, it's an attractive but dull bauble that could have used more bright shiny beads.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/14/2014
UPC:
0888574128524
Original Release:
1955
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:53:00
Sales rank:
8,566

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Howard Keel Hajj
Ann Blyth Marsinah
Dolores Gray Lalume
Vic Damone Caliph
Monty Woolley Omar
Sebastian Cabot Wazir
Jay C. Flippen Jawan
Mike Mazurki Chief Policeman
Jack Elam Hassan-Ben
Ted de Corsia Police Subaltern
Reiko Sato Princess of Abubu
Patricia Dunn Princesses of A Ba Bu
Wonci Lui Princesses of Aba Bu
Julie Robinson Zubbediya
Mamta Kulkarni Actor

Technical Credits
Vincente Minnelli Director
Jeff Alexander Musical Direction/Supervision
Preston Ames Art Director
Jack Cole Choreography
Luther Davis Screenwriter
Tony Duquette Costumes/Costume Designer
Adrienne Fazan Editor
George Forrest Score Composer,Songwriter
Arthur Freed Producer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Keogh Gleason Set Decoration/Design
Charles Lederer Screenwriter
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
André Previn Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Joseph Ruttenberg Cinematographer
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
Robert Wright Score Composer,Songwriter

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