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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2005
If this was the full version of this brilliant series, I would be giving it 5 stars. The acting is superb and the sets quite stunning. The story is spoilt by the amount that has been cut out of the english version. Some of the stories have been shortened and some, such as the three brothers, cut out altogether. I agree with the other reviewer who recommended getting the american version - that way you can enjoy the series to the full. I hope that one day it will be re-released in it's entirety for the english public.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2001
A lovely tale. Well acted, Mili Avital is delightfull. BUT, this is a shortened version of the two part mini-series and the shortening by about 30 minutes has been done clumsily and without feeling. I know because I recorded the TV version and can compare. I'll keep the box for my recording and through away the purchased video!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2006
Having enjoyed the original tv broadcast of this adaptation, I was disappopinted to find that the dvd edition has been edited heavily, thus spoiling the continuity of the film and cutting out much of the humour. The tale of Ali Baba & the 40 thieves is the tale that suffers most from this heavy-handed editing. Try telling a favourite tale to the kids minus their favourite bits! Just as well I kept my my video recording of the film.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 11 January 2005
This version of Arabian Nights is closer to the actual story than any other version I have heard of and has a huge variety of actors.
Dougray Scott is brillant as the Caliph (ruler) beginning with him verging on the edge of madness after the betrayal of his firsrt wife and brother and then as his second wife, a friend who has loved him since they were children and the daughter of the Caliph's chief consultant, brings him from the brink of madness and saving her own life by keeping him distracted by telling him different stories.
This wonderful story as well as being funny and well performed also teaches other that stories can teach us many things.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2011
As per October 7, 2011, you will be able to purchase "Arabian Nights - Abenteuer aus 1001 Nacht [2 DVDs]" from for EUR 12,99. It's the complete version of 178 minutes and comes in English and German. Personally, I'm really glad I was patient and look forward to watching these very well-played and suspenseful stories again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2009
I have been waiting to see this when I ordered it and read all the reviews, they sounded promising and exicing. So when I got the DVD, I instanly put it in the machine and let myself go into the wonder of Arabia and fantasy. It's about a young Sutlan (Dougray Scott) killing his wife instead of his brother as they were having a affair behind his back. In the brink of madness and slowly comsuming to be alone, he plans to marry one woman from the Harlem and then kill her the next day. But when a young woman (Mili Avital) argees with this destiny, she hopes that her stories will stop him from doing the nasty deed by bringing love and amazing stories during night and day. As time goes on, he soon falls for his wife and so does she but with the looming threat of his brother returning to get revenge, will they surrive? I was not disappointed with this, stunning scenery and amazing special effects make it awesome to look at. The stories are told in excellent ways, mixed with tradgey, love and the fight between good and evil. The pefomances are top-notch with a extreme ammount of known cast from Scott as the tragic Sultan and Mili Avital playing a good storyteller. It's worth for children to watch apart from some scary scenes like the massive genie, battle scenes and grown-up issues they may not understand. But it's a massive gem to find, I enjoyed every second and felt like I was right in it. Worth every penny, highly recommended if you adore escapsim and fantasy with a tasty guy playing the Sultan! But be warned by two issues, make sure you buy the American verison as the English one is cut horribly by thirty minutes and it's a very long movie. I watched in two parts so be sure you have time to watch this grand and brilliant movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This retelling of the classic story of 1001 Arabian Nights (abridged somewhat to just a few nights...) works surprisingly well. A mini series edited to form one movie, it may be a little too long to take in one sitting, but this is one of those rare things - a movie that adults will enjoy, but the kids will too.
The story is in fact several stories, as told by Scheherazade to her new husband, the Sultan, in a framing story. The framing story is a rare thing - a device to hold several stories together, which works as well as the individual tales. The Sultan is on the brink of madness as a result of his late wives betrayal. He now has developed a pattern of marrying and then killing the bride in the morning... a pattern Scheherazade intends to break by engrossing him in her tales enough to keep him wanting to hear the end the next night. As she tells her tales, she aims to help his madness subside and impart wisdom to help him confront the reasons for his torment.
And so we get the classic stories of Ali Baba, Aladdin, and a couple more that might be less familiar but are no less compelling, with a surprisingly diverse and well known cast including Alan Bates, Jason Scott Lee, Vanessa Mae, Dougray Scott, Andy Serkis and others.
Scenery and sets all appear surprisingly authentic and detailed, the big budget (for TV) is evident in the terrific effects (genies, magic carpets etc..) and of course the timeless stories work well.
There are a couple of gripes - the sound is in stereo only, and the dubbing is much worse than we should expect from a big budget production these days. Also, while the overall tone works well, the slapstick in places might be a little too much for adults, and the occasional gruesome death may unnerve younger viewers.
A short featurette outlining the undeniable scale of the production completes a package which is a success, provided your expectations are simply for some light entertainment, and nothing more substantial.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2011
This is a brilliant classic story which the original TV series rendered just wonderfully. First class acting, brilliant photography and storyline. Easily a 5 stars production.
I bought the DVD edition after seeing the TV series. Unfortunately this version is heavily edited and the cuts literally mutilate a wonderful piece of artistic work. Avoid this DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2005
"Arabian nights" is a Hallmark mini-series based on the popular book "A thousand and one nights". Truth to be told, I enjoyed this dvd enormously, and I think many of you will like it too.
For those who haven't read any of the versions of "A thousand and one nights" yet, the plot is simple but the resulting story that the spectator can enjoy is great. A Sultan (Dougray Scott) discovers that his wife betrays him with his brother, and kills her. Hurt and almost mad, the Sultan says that he will wed again but declares that he will marry a new bride everyday, killing her the next morning so she won't betray him too. His first chosen bride is the daughter of his main advisor, Scheherazade (Mili Avital), a woman who loves him and that will try to keep herself and the other women in the palace alive, as well as make the Sultan fall in love with her. In order to do so, Scheherazade begins to tell him a story during their first night together, engaging the Sultan so much in it that the next day he postpones her execution.
And that continues for a long time, every night and with different and enchanting stories, that the director (Steve Barron) somehow manages to show to the spectator, mixed almost seamlessly with the main story. Among other tales, you will be treated to wonderful versions of "Ali Baba and the forty thieves" and "Aladdin and the magic lamp".
Of course, you will wonder how this story finishes, and what happens with the Sultan and Scheherazade. But for that, unfortunately (or fortunately?), you will have to watch this movie, or buy a good version of "A thousand and one nights". In my opinion, doing those two things one after the other would be an excellent idea. The reason for that is that even though the book and the filmic version of it that this dvd contains are quite different, they are both extremely good. Highly recommended!
Belen Alcat
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on 24 August 2013
This movie is absolutely thrilling. All in all it is actually one of my favorites.
The insane Sultan Schahriar of Baghdad (Dougray Scott), after having accidentally killed his wife upon finding her in bed with his brother, fears that any woman he marries will plot his death.
Insane and paranoid Sultan Schahriar is, and as his Grand Vizier says with so much truth he works for the worst type of madman: ` a madman with power'.
Are any Third World dictators listening???
The Sultan looks for a wife to marry and have executed the next morning, and it is the Grand Viziers daughter, played by the exquisite Israeli beauty Mili Avital, who volunteers to be the lamb for the slaughter, knowing full well the Sultans dastardly plan. She aims to save the woman of the Kingdom, the Sultan and of course herself.
What she aims to do is keep him awake for forty nights with enchanting stories, which she has learned from a wise old storyteller ((Alan Bates) on the streets of Baghdad.

The stories told are Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Aladdin, The Sultans Jester, Never Tell the Same Joke Twice, and a story of three brothers sent on a glorious quest.

This movie is thrilling, sensual, insightful, wise, touching and hilariously funny, all at once.

It also introduces us to four of the world most gorgeous women, the exquisite and fascinating Mili Avital as Scheherezade, the lovely Amira Casar as Ali Baba's servant girl and later wife, the sensual and delightful Ayesha Dhakar in the opening scene and several cameo roles, and Vanessa Mae as Aladdin's Princess.

I love this movie.
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