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Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Maria Montez, Jon Hall, Turhan Bey
  • Directors: Arthur Lubin
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Aug. 2010
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003X1NZ28
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,376 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

All the excitement of the Arabian Nights is orchestrated in this thrilling tale of romance, revenge and high drama. Orphaned as a young child and adopted by a band of notorious thieves, the now-grown Ali Baba (Jon Hall) sets out to avenge his father's murder, reclaim the royal throne, and rescue his childhood love Amara (Maria Montez) from the clutches of his treacherous enemy. A lavish adventure classic, co-starring the great Andy Devine, and filmed in glorious Technicolor, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is presented for the first time for home viewing in the UK in a stunning restored high-definition transfer.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This blu-ray is barebones except for a music and effects track, but it certainly makes a point in favor of high-definition upgrades of classic films. The Universal region-1 DVD was quite impressive in showcasing the original color elements of this Technicolor matinee movie, but the the blu-ray gives it a detailed rendering that closely resembles an original film print. Noticeable brightness and detail is the big plus; and while the blu-ray colors are less saturated than on the dvd, this is a result of more accuracy in the transfer. The original soundtrack and optional music and effects track are presented in lossless DTS 2.0 that will correctly matrix to a monaural center-channel delivery; the blu-ray is region free in the correct 1:37 to 1 standard projection ration.
The film is a lavish, cheeecake adventure, campy in it's excesses, but beautiful to behold as a glorious Technicolor remnant of Hollywood in the forties.
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A Kid's Review on 22 Oct. 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves [Blu-ray]
I have various copies of this film in other media but this Blu Ray is stunning. There appears to be no color registration problems causing halos around moving figures due to shrinkage of one of other of the 3-trip Technicolor negatives. The sound is clean & clear.

The only disappointment is that there is no trailer or any other extras.
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By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 16 Feb. 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Throwing away most of the original story except the oil jars and "Open sesame!", Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is a handsome and undemanding Forties' Arabian Nights romp with those famous Persian actors Jon Hall and Maria Montez as Ali Baba - here the son of the murdered Caliph of Baghdad who fell among Fortunio Bonanova's band of Robin Hood-like thieves - and his long lost childhood sweetheart who is now betrothed to the Mongol Khan who has stolen his kingdom. You can pretty much write the plot developments yourself from there, but if originality is in short supply, it's colourful family-friendly hokum that should satisfy the less jaded palate. Like the thieves who sing as they ride (and they're much better riders than singers) it's not too successful at hitting the high notes, settling for pleasantly average, but if you're in the right mood that's just about enough. Andy Devine, effectively playing down his role as comic sidekick, steals the acting honors while Frank Puglia and Kurt Katch provide the villainy and Turhan Bey is the starry-eyed sidekick-wannabe recruited to the outlaw band. You'll probably forget it as soon as it's over and no-one will ever mistake it for another Thief of Baghdad, but for the hour-and-a-half it takes to go through its paces, director Arthur Lubin ensures it does its job efficiently enough. Eureka's extras-free (unless you count an isolated music and effects track) UK BluRay boasts a beautifully detailed transfer, though the colour doesn't seem quite as vivid as Forties Technicolor should be.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This high-definition version of the Technicolor restoration is pretty amazing. I've watched it up close on a high-quality monitor, and it's virtually flawless. The detail is so great that the matte paintings used in numerous scenes really jump out. The acid test is of course the 32-year-old Montez's close-ups which work well; the diffusion is VERY deftly done and doesn't draw attention to itself even in HD which is impressive, and means that the cinematographers REALLY knew what they were doing.

My only qualm is that the color in the original Technicolor release-prints would have been much more saturated and eye-popping, and the experience of seeing them in a theater would be dramatically different than viewing a restoration like this. I love seeing the restorations, but they offer a very distinct experience.

I was surprised that my estimations of Montez's acting ability went up a bit watching this; some subtlety comes through that doesn't normally show. She actually was fine when doing simple material that didn't exceed her abilities. Unfortunately I don't think that enough original material exists to create a similar restoration of "Cobra Woman".
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
All in all, one of the best, if not thee best, of the Universal American Arabian Nights fantasies made during the 1940's, with rousing action; glorious early Technicolor and a wonderful music score by the little known, but obviously very talented, Edward Ward that captures the atmosphere of the film superbly. Even Miklos Rozsa himself couldn't have done a better job on it. Scotty Beckett's performance as young Ali throughout fourteen minutes of the first reel (seventeen minutes) of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" is totally mesmerising and wonderful. If only he could have played Ali throughout the whole film. From the start of the second reel, with Jon Hall playing Ali as a grown up, the film seems to change mood abruptly. It's still very good and entertaining, but never regains the heights it achieved in the first reel. In turn, Scotty looks so proud: "I will never fail you or Baghdad, father!", he says, with his head held high. Genuinely afraid (the murder of his father in the ambush and the burning of the boats and his first encounter with the magic stone doors in the mountain wall) and touched by magic and an incredible childlike sense of wonder as he discovers the treasures of the thieves' cave. You are there with him and feel just as he feels. It's an incredible performance for a boy of 12, going on 13.

I love watching him in this first reel and he is what you see on the screen and what you see is what you get. He must have been wonderful to know and to have as a friend in those days and it's obvious that after that, as he grew into his teenage years, something terrible must have happened to him. Why? Perhaps he was let down and abandoned and betrayed by those he misguidedly loved and trusted. The same thing happened to the likes of Bobby Driscoll and Darren Burn.
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