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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)
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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

Product Description

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

From the Back Cover

AN ARABIAN NIGHTS FANTASY This is one of the most imaginative of all silent films; a magical page from an Arabian Nights-style adventure that included examples of the then popular German Expressionist techniques - a film that lived long in the memory and was to influence many subsequent fantasy-style productions.

This version has been digitally remastered from a 35mm negative and carefully timed in the style of the period with a musical score by Gaylord Carter based on the original cues.

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