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The Thief Of Bagdad [1924] [DVD]

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

Dispatched from and sold by Ryte-Apparel.
£4.79 In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Ryte-Apparel.

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Product details

  • 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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Product description

Product Description

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.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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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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 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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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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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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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