Legendary producer Alexander Korda’s marvel The Thief of Bagdad, inspired by The Arabian Nights, is one of the most spectacular fantasy films ever made, an eye-popping effects pioneer brimming with imagination and technical wizardry. When Prince Ahmad (John Justin) is blinded and cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar (Conrad Veidt), he joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu (the incomparable Sabu, in his definitive role) to win back his royal place, as well as the heart of a beautiful princess (June Duprez). With its luscious Technicolor, vivid sets, and unprecedented visual wonders, The Thief of Bagdad has charmed viewers of all ages for decades. —The Criterion Collection
A one time studio gofer, still photographer, and comic actor, Michael Powell became one of the most celebrated and controversial directors ever to come out of England. Born in Canterbury, Powell became enamored of films while still a teenager and, after a start in the mid-’20s and a stint shooting stills and serving as a co-scenarist with Alfred Hitchcock in the early sound era, Powell broke into directing in low-budget British thrillers and comedies. After directing and writing his first notable movie in 1937, The Edge of the World, he moved to London Films where he began working with Emeric Pressburger, a gifted young author and screenwriter. Their two-decade association began shortly after they left London Films (where they collaborated on The Spy in Black and Powell co-directed The Thief of Bagdad). The wartime thrillers Contraband and Forty-Ninth Parallel, the latter attracted much attention (including Oscar nominations for Best Picture and best original story), resulted in the… read more
If I have a child one day, this will be one of those movies I'll show them next to The Wizard of Oz.
Made by a committee of directors led by Michael Powell, this glorious Technicolor Arabian Nights adventure produced by the legendary Alexander Korda still holds up remarkably well over 70 years after its release. The hero and heroine are a little vapid but the majority of the cast are a delight, especially the villainous Conrad Veidt as the wicked Vizier, Rex Ingram as the Genie in the bottle and the charming Sabu...
A selection of striking posters by a little-known East German designer.
Perfection! This is the film that MADE my childhood, and has been exceptionally close to my heart ever since
It was a miracle… read review
Classic Technicolor fantasy epic is an incredibly lavish production, with extraordinary sets and costume design. But despite all the visual splendor, the performances are uneven and the story never… read review