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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
19
The Thief Of Bagdad [1925] [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£15.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 5 April 2016
Speaking here about the Eureka Masters of Cinema release. Beautiful picture quality on both formats and a great score by Carl Davis. Have to say that although the film itself is a wonderful technical achievement, there is very little story to get excited about, and with nearly two and a half hours to kill, the narration does drag in places.
There's no doubting the magnificence of Fairbanks' vision. a truly stunning silent production, but the real stars are the design, art direction and photography. Some of William Cameron Menzies sets are extraordinary; at times dwarfing the actors on screen.
Special effects are tremendous, a mixture of camera tricks, model work and matte shots.
A real visual feast indeed, but for this reviewer, something is indeed missing in terms of a story.
The box claims one of the top 100 films of all time as voted by the AFI. Based on the era it was made, I'd have to go along with that.
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on 5 February 2018
Another fine DVD release by ‘Masters of Cinema’ that gives one the opportunity to see this silent classic at its best - booklet notes, audio commentary and a photo essay included.
One of the most expensive undertakings of its time, ‘The Thief of Bagdad’ proved a suitable vehicle for the athletic, charismatic Douglas Fairbanks. Wonderful opulent sets designed by William Cameron Menzies really make the film a true spectacle - and if one or two of the special effects look a bit stiff and unimpressive (the giant bat monster, for instance), there are other moments that really succeed (the palatial underwater cavern, the flying carpet, the great jagged gates of Bagdad itself).
There’s charm, humour and wonder here - the film was a real surprise to me, given that one never gets to see these silent epics on mainstream TV.
The accompanying score is a compilation of Rimsky-Korsakov music - mostly from Scheherazade, The Golden Cockerel, Tsar Saltan, Antar and Sadko - so there’s first-rate opulence in the soundtrack too (although, it seemed to me that the music became a little out-of-synch with climactic moments as the movie went on).
There is a cheaper version of ‘Thief of Bagdad’ available, from ‘Hollywood Classics’, but I’ve seen another movie from them (Bob Hope in ‘My Favourite Brunette’) and the print of that was poor. So, I’d stick with the superlative Eureka / Masters of Cinema. No doubt worth a little extra expense.
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on 1 February 2016
Just watched thief of Bagdad on bluray incredible picture .extras include commentary track great film up there with the black pirate his other great film.
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on 23 March 2013
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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on 3 January 2015
This is a silent film and as usual the musical soundtrack is fairly ghastly, but Fairbanks has charisma to die for - eat your heart out Clooney - and the sets are magnificent. Easy on the eye, rather hard on the ear, but a splendid example of Hollywood eastern hokum.
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on 3 November 2014
One of the best films EVER on Blu-ray,a must for any film fan.
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on 6 December 2014
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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on 27 March 2015
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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on 26 May 2014
...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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on 12 February 2010
I put this Movie to children age 4-5 , and even when it was long and made them tired ,and I cut it they remembered and asked to see it again. Compared with Sesame street, Tom and Jerry , Aladin or other continuous programs this is quality.
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