Thief of Bagdad

Thief of Bagdad

3.3 3
Director: Raoul Walsh

Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Snitz Edwards, Julanne Johnston

     
 

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Douglas Fairbanks is at his most graceful and charismatic in one of the classic silent films of the 1920s. As the thief of Baghdad, his movements are dance-like -- nothing like the athletics he performed in most of his other films. In this Arabian take, the thief ignores the holy teachings and sneaks into the palace of the Caliph (Brandon Hurst). All thoughts of… See more details below

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Overview

Douglas Fairbanks is at his most graceful and charismatic in one of the classic silent films of the 1920s. As the thief of Baghdad, his movements are dance-like -- nothing like the athletics he performed in most of his other films. In this Arabian take, the thief ignores the holy teachings and sneaks into the palace of the Caliph (Brandon Hurst). All thoughts of robbery slip away, however, when he sees the beautiful princess (Julianne Johnston). Princes have come from many faraway lands to win the princess' hand (and it's amusing to watch her face growing ever more alarmed at their arrival, because each one is uglier than the last). The thief disguises himself as a prince and the princess falls in love with him. After having a pang of conscience the thief confesses all to the Holy Man (Charles Belcher), who sends him to find a magic chest. He braves many obstacles to get it, and when he returns he discovers that the Mongol Prince (So-Jin) has taken over the city. Using the chest, the reformed thief creates armies of men out of nothingness and recaptures the city. He then uses the cloak of invisibility to spirit the princess away on a magic carpet. Fairbanks stole some of the special effects for his film from Fritz Lang's Der Mude Tod, which he had purchased for American distribution. Thief of Baghdad, with its look of unrealistic beauty (courtesy of art director William Cameron Menzies), was not fully appreciated in its day. Because of its huge cost ($2 million -- a real fortune in those days), it made little money. After that, Fairbanks stuck closer to the swashbuckling persona he felt his audience wanted. Available now on DVD, the re-mastered film features a new score by Carl Davis.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
The Thief of Baghdad owes its greatness largely to the production design of art director William Cameron Menzies and the meticulous attention to detail demanded by writer, producer, and star Douglas Fairbanks. With a budget of around two million dollars, it was among the most expensive films of the 1920s. Using state-of-the-art special effects, it is a visual feast with flying horses, magic carpets, and exquisite sets, supporting the entertaining story of a charming rogue who undertakes great quests to win the favors of a beautiful princess (Julanne Johnston). The film is also notable for the supporting performance of the exotic Anna May Wong. Director Raoul Walsh capably handles the action-oriented story, though it is Fairbanks and Menzies who most shape the film. 155 minutes long, the film was a box-office failure in 1924, but in later years it has become one of the most popular silent films.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/19/2013
UPC:
0741952739395
Original Release:
1924
Rating:
NR
Source:
Cohen Media Group
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
2:29:00
Sales rank:
45,812

Special Features

Audio commentary by Fairbanks biographer Jeffrey Vance; Featurette including rare behind-the-scenes photographs

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Douglas Fairbanks The Thief of Bagdad
Snitz Edwards His Evil Associate
Julanne Johnston The Princess
Anna May Wong The Mongol Slave
Charles Belcher The Holy Man
Winter Blossom The Slave of the Lute
Sojin The Mongol Prince
Etta Lee The Slave of the Sand Board
Brandon Hurst The Caliph
Tote Du Crow The Soothsayer
K. Nambu His Counselor
Noble Johnson The Indian Prince
Charles Stevens His Awaker
Sam Baker The Sworder
Jesse Weldon Eunuch
Scott Mattraw Eunuch
Charles Sylvester Eunuch
Sadakichi-Hartmann His Couil Magician
Jesse Fuller Actor
Mathilde Comont The Persian Prince

Technical Credits
Raoul Walsh Director
Carl Davis Score Composer
Arthur Edeson Cinematographer
Douglas Fairbanks Original Story,Producer,Screenwriter
Anton Grot Set Decoration/Design
Mitchell Leisen Costumes/Costume Designer
William Cameron Menzies Production Designer
William Nolan Editor
Theodore Reed Producer
Elton Thomas Original Story
Mortimer Wilson Score Composer
Lotta Woods Screenwriter
Paul Youngblood Set Decoration/Design

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Thief of Bagdad
1. The Prince of Thieves [11:52]
2. The Mosque [10:00]
3. Off to Work [9:05]
4. In the Palace at Night [10:26]
5. Love Bird [9:53]
6. Prince Ahmed [9:44]
7. Ahmed & the Princess [9:55]
8. Confession [10:05]
9. Morning [11:00]
10. Into the Mountains [9:55]
11. Monsters! [10:06]
12. Island of Wak [9:52]
13. Off to Bagdad [10:00]
14. The Attack [10:03]
15. No Escape! [4:49]
16. Happiness Must Be Earned [1:47]

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