Tuesday, May 1, 2018


Could the suitor to the princess really be nothing but a common thief?
Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Bagdad

"It is an entrancing picture, wholesome and beautiful, deliberate but compelling, a feat of motion picture art which has never been equaled and one which itself will enthrall people time and again. You can see this film and look forward to seeing it a second time."-New York Times, March 19, 1924.
I can certainly see why this fanciful updating of the Arabian nights was such a hit with audiences in 1924. It starred the biggest action star of the era (Douglas Fairbanks) and is epic in presentation, but never forgets to be fun. The plot of the film involves Fairbanks as the thief in the title, who seeks to amend his ways when he falls for the princess of Bagdad. The film features such later staples of films as magic carpets, invisibility cloaks, a battle against some pretty scary spiders and other monsters and an elaborate competition against rival suitors. It might be difficult for modern audiences to view The Thief of Bagdad without thinking of similarities between this and Disney's Aladdin. At least it was for me.

Yes, it is true that 1924 special effects aren't going to hold up that well, but I think the effects are pretty fun even now and work well within the framework of the story. If you tend to get bored with silent film dramas, this one may be a good one to watch to try to shake yourself out of it.-C. Cox, 1001: A Film Odyssey

The thief (Fairbanks) and the Princess (Julanne Johnston) 
discover a whole new world on their magic carpet in
The Thief of Bagdad

1 comment:

  1. This is so much fun! I have watched it a few times by now and I am not getting tired of it. There are not that many movies of this age can say that about. Too bad that Fairbank's Robin Hood is not on the List.