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  • The Thief Of Bagdad [1925] [DVD]
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The Thief Of Bagdad [1925] [DVD]

20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Douglas Fairbanks, Julanne Johnston, Snitz Edwards, Charles Belcher, Sôjin 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: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UWQ4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,461 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

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

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Bradford on 23 Mar. 2013
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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Format: Blu-ray
Easily and by far this is the best version that I have seen of "The Thief of Bagdad". It does not have the Technicolor opulent look of the 1940 version, and Douglas Fairbanks is not as handsome as the 1961 thief, played by Steve Reeves, but this 1924 production intelligently blends comedy and drama; the framing, angles and camera movements used by director Raoul Walsh and cinematographer Arthur Edeson are visually elegant; and sets, costumes and effects were beautifully conceived and executed. The film moves with a fascinating rhythm during the first two acts in Bagdad, before the Princess' suitors travel in search of the strangest treasures: there are countless sets to stage all the dramatic and action scenes: the marketplace, the sewers, the palace garden, the throne room, the Princess' bedroom, immense stairs, doors, walls, halls and vines, lavishly designed by William Cameron Menzies. Where it not for the overlong adaptation (I saw the 149 minutes restoration, with the Carl Davis score based on Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade"), this would have been an undeniable masterpiece. The narration drags a bit after the suitors leave Bagdad, the Mongol Prince's machinations, and the extended return of the thief (who inexplicably does not ride on the winged horse to the city), although there are also wonderful scenes in this third act, as the trip to find and test the magic apple and the creation of the new Bagdad army. Everybody is fine in this film: Fairbank as the thief is all smiles, but when he has to show the dramatic nuances of his character he excels; Sôjin Kamiyama is excellent as the Mongol Prince (especially when compared to the 1940 and 1961 villains, more than aptly played by Conrad Veidt and Arturo Dominici), and Julanne Johnston's Princess is both attractive and funny, but I especially enjoyed beautiful Anna May Wong as the wicked Oriental maid and hilarious Snitz Edwards as the thief's sidekick. A true cinematic gem.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jimmy budgie on 6 Sept. 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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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Book Guide 123 on 8 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD
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 By Amazon Customer on 21 April 2011
Format: DVD
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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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By r a price on 6 Dec. 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have bought silent movies on blu-ray before and the quality has been varied. The picture quality on this blu-ray is brilliant, I have never seen such clarity of picture even on some more recent movies, my main criticism is for a silent movie it is too long at two and a half hours, that is the reason I have only given it four stars. As for content it is a very good version of a story that has been done several time since, this version is arguably the best. I do however think that Douglas Fairbanks was a little too old for this type of action movie, but saying that being 40 at the time he was in very good shape. If you are a movie buff like me I recommend that you buy this one.
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