- Actors: Julanne Johnston, Anna May Wong, Snitz Edwards, Charles Belcher, Brandon Hurst
- Directors: Raoul Walsh
- Producers: Douglas Fairbanks
- 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: Starlite
- DVD Release Date: 26 April 2004
- Run Time: 140 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B0001XLX2U
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,956 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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The Thief Of Bagdad  [DVD]
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Raoul Walsh directs the classic Douglas Fairbanks version of the tale of a young thief who sets out to win the heart of a beautiful princess. With his impressive acrobatic skills and the assistance of some imaginative special effects, the thief determines to prove himself worthy of his royal sweetheart and embarks on an adventure which takes him through the Valley of Fire, the Vale of Dragons, the Cavern of the Enchanted Trees and the Abode of the Winged Horse. But opposition comes in the form of an evil Mongol prince who will stop at nothing in his attempts to make the princess his bride.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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. Read morePublished on 3 Jan. 2015 by W. Russell
One of the best films EVER on Blu-ray,a must for any film fan.Published on 3 Nov. 2014 by agent smith
This movie provided magic in my childhood. It was when England was all English and the Arab World was purely exotic and magical. Read morePublished on 13 Oct. 2014 by David Parsley
...get the version which uses Rimsky Korsakov's Scherezade. Trust me on this and then it will be a beautiful, surreal experiencePublished on 26 May 2014 by Craigmeister