Tuesday, June 7, 2011

20. The Thief of Bagdad

The Thief of Bagdad

When I was trying to think of how to start this post, only one word came to mind.  Sexy.  Out of all the movies on the list so far, this one is by far the most erotic.  The previous stars have been either virginal beauties or men in make up.  However, Douglas Fairbanks has his shirt off for the whole movie and he actually has a lot of sex appeal (at least to me).  The female lead certainly is no Lillian Gish which truthfully was quite refreshing.

This movie is the classic Aladdin type story that we are all familar with complete with flying carpets and dragons.  As you probably know, I am going through the book list as well.  Arabian Nights was one of the first on the list so I read it relatively recently.  I personally did not really like it because of how racist and sexist it was but this movie closely mirrors the kind of erotism that can be found in the book.

This movie is not politically correct (but come on, what silent film is?) but it is an exciting fairy tale nevertheless, and a definite must-see.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

They actually had a few sound effects like when the man is stabbing a basket with swords.

The Prince is played by a woman.  I was taken aback when I learned this, because you always hear about men playing women's roles.  I think that is pretty cool...

The movie poster for this was ranked number nine in best movie posters.  Totally random but fun list.

As you may know if you are doing research on this movie, the sets are absolutely incredible.  Reminded me of Intolerance.

Do not confuse this with the 1940 edition.  This edition is available to watch on YouTube or Netflix.  First part:


  1. Something really cool that I remember about this film is the flying carpet scene. Sometimes it is hard to get excited about film innovations we take for granted, but other times I think I get to into it. I am thrilled with the special effects, even in old movies :-)

  2. I did exactly that, getting it mixed up with the 1940 version. Imagine my surprise when it came from Amazon. Happy I eventually found the original though. It is so much fun.

  3. he 1940 version is quite spectacular, more polished .. but this wins for sheer breathtaking innovation - given how old it is. I will never be as sexy as Douglas F .. and I'm not sure I want to be THAT sort of sexy (Amanda think of it as if it's sort of the equivalent of a tall leggy blonde with huge boobs), so perhaps I missed the appeal as well. Corny plot and characters? Yes, decidedly, but with enough shy cheekiness to make it acceptable.
    In all? A winner .. but I'd not want to re-watch other than in bits.

  4. Glad you had fun with it TSorensen. And I agree Rachel, a lot of people complain about older special effects but I think they are interesting, or at the very least amusing. Ray, if you believe in yourself and wear enough make up, you can be as sexy as Douglas Fairbanks!