The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

[7.0]

In this potpourri of Middle-Eastern folklore, a banished king (John Justin) and a street boy (Sabu) team up to stop an evil magician (Conrad Veidt) from marrying a beautiful princess (June Duprez). The Thief of Bagdad tries to combine everything you can imagine from “Arabian Nights”, including the Genie and the magic carpet. Disney certainly used this classic as a springboard for their own Aladdin. I liked John Justin and Sabu, Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion animation, the music by Miklos Rozsa, and the early technicolor photography, but the episodic narrative was a little cumbersome. As popular as the Genie character is, he’s introduced a bit late and steers the narrative off track for a while.

Academy Awards: Best Color Cinematography, Color Art Direction, Special Effects

Oscar Nomination: Best Score (Miklos Rozsa)

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