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The Thief Of Bagdad [1925] [DVD]

Douglas Fairbanks , Julanne Johnston , Raoul Walsh    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: 8.47
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The Thief Of Bagdad [1925] [DVD] + Thief Of Bagdad [DVD] + Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Douglas Fairbanks, Julanne Johnston, Snitz Edwards, Charles Belcher, Sjin Kamiyama
  • Directors: Raoul Walsh
  • Writers: Douglas Fairbanks, Achmed Abdullah, James T. O'Donohoe, Lotta Woods
  • Producers: Douglas Fairbanks, David Shepard
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Eureka
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Feb 2002
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UWQ4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,951 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Dating from 1924 this Thief of Bagdad is justifiably billed here as "one of the truly great silent films of the 1920s." As the forerunner of generations of magical, effect-laden fantasy epics, its importance is practically immeasurable. And still, after eight decades, it has startling, thrilling qualities which the finest computer graphics would struggle to surpass. Douglas Fairbanks, co-founder of United Artists, is the eponymous hero, swindling, fighting and leaping his way to true love through a series of adventures which take him from a magnificently surreal Bagdad to enchanted forests, ocean bottoms and magic carpet rides.

"Happiness must be earned," is the motto; Fairbanks and his director Raoul Walsh certainly don't short-change their audience in bringing it to life. The effects are stunning, with a particularly gruesome slaying of a monster. Every scene is crammed with detail and incident. Fairbanks is a whirlwind of muscular, balletic flamboyance. And while his princess (Julanne Johnson) is a stereotype of vapidity, there's gleamingly malevolent support from Anna May Wong as the evil Mongol Slave Girl. Over two hours of sheer enjoyment belie the notion that cinematic sophistication is a modern achievement.

On the DVD: The Thief of Bagdad disc presents the restored and remastered print (the tints have a luminous quality) complete with a 1975 score by master organist Gaylord Carter--you can almost feel the Wurlitzer rising from the pit of your entertainment centre. The audio essay, written by film historian R Dixon Smith, is an invaluable extra, providing essential information on how the picture was made and how the art designers played with proportion to create many of the visual tricks and a fantastical atmosphere. --Piers Ford

Product Description

DVD Special Features: Audio Essay written by film historian R. Dixon Smith
Original Souvenir Programme

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Just wanted to write a quick review about this wonderful film to all those silent film fans out there who may be wondering if this Cohen Film Collection Blu Ray version will play on UK players. I can confirm that it is REGION FREE!!! It will play on a UK Blu Ray player, and with the addition of music by Carl Davis, conducting The Philharmonia Orchestra, the score is a real joy! I found the transfer quality of the picture, (which is a 2k restoration) really quite impressive, the grain of the 1924 print being more evident than the fine grain stock available in later decades, but not diminishing the viewer experience at all! True to form, the coloured tints to indicate night scenes or day, flaming caverns of red etc. are all present! and the William Cameron Menzies Art Deco sets look truly entrancing! As to the FPS rate, I can only say that the movement appears natural and not over fast, producing a very contemporary feel to the scenes in this regard, with just the occasional light fluctuation now and again, which is entirely consistant with the 'look' of a silent film. Great purchase! Great Price!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE THIEF OF BAGDAD 6 Sep 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I only bought this film simply to look back to the past, of when my father used to tell me that the good films were made , and as a kid I would giggle to my self saying he dose not know what he is talking about , until I grew up and am going through the same with kids ,
one has to put oneself back in time as to when these films were made , with nothing technical as to that of today, when actors really had to act when cameras were on the actor for minuets not seconds , so if you watch this film with all this in mind especially with the great Douglas Fairbanks, it was a master film for its time. I was shocked at some of the technical affects , I did not even think they had invented in those days.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok but... 26 May 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
...get the version which uses Rimsky Korsakov's Scherezade. Trust me on this and then it will be a beautiful, surreal experience
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly good for a 87year old movie 8 Nov 2011
I think this is a must have! While I am always skeptical of the quality of early movies, this one despite being a silent movie tops my personal chart of classic movies. It is so amazing to watch how they nearly 90 years ago constructed the screenplay build the stage settings and how they filmed it all. Including all these special effects. The underwater scene is one of numerous awesome highlights. A true gem which will never get old. Sadly the print is not fully complete and later film reels are visibly in poor condition. Nevertheless its still a beauty to watch
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What on earth are the other reviews about? 21 April 2011
The 1924 "Thief of Bagdad" is hugely better than the 1940 Korda version, but more to the point - what is going on with the reviews on this page? They appear to be about an (unnamed) piece of American social realism from 1969, and some (also unnamed) book. Sort it out Amazon!
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7 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Blues...from 1969 20 Mar 2010
It is said that the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance, start by watching this film.

Peter Watkins directs this pseudo-documentary with an earnestness of style and a lack of presumption that still refreshes even in 2010. In fact, his gritty and authentic attention to detail is especially pleasing in the here and now. The basic premise has since been copied so many times as to render it almost a cliche, but the toughness and honesty that the direction brings to the script (assuming there was one) allows for instant, disconcerting familiarity without hastening predictability. You know nobody is going to survive, but because of the urgent camera and solid acting by non-actors you really want them to. You identify with those that chose to commute their sentence.

The characters are beaten, insulted and dehumanized in almost every way, and the sanctimonious sermonizing of the moral majority sentencing them is sadly all too believable. We watch a world where members of various movements, (e.g socialist, black power, feminist, Chicano) are subjected to dubious 'hearings' and admonished for their (equally dubious) 'crimes' they are then offered either a) an unfeasibly long prison sentence or b) four days in Punishment Park. Unsurprisingly, each chooses the park. The scene in 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' where McMurphy states that Nurse Ratched enjoys "a rigged game" came to kind as soon as the scene was done and each actor shuffled out of the room towards a certain death sentence. Later films, such as 'Battle Royale' can also trace their origins back to this film, gravid with social commentary and shot with an uncomfortable frankness that makes the scenario feel compellingly real.
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