The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

When Prince Ahmad is blinded and cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar, he joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu to win back his royal place, as well as the heart of a beautiful princess.


1940's The Thief of Bagdad, though a remake of a 1924 silent film, stands out as the main source material for Disney's Aladdin, if only on account of the villain being a sorcerer called Jaffar. The movie nevertheless splits the Aladdin role in two, with John Justin playing the fallen prince who must save the kingdom and the princess, and Sabu as the thief who finds a genie in a bottle (a genie more green than blue, but same difference). As special effects spectaculars go, The Thief of Bagdad surprises with its cutting-edge use of chromakey, a technique that wouldn't be put into wide use for decades (and is far from perfected here), and provides a lot of neat fantastical images, at least eventually. The magic doesn't really kick in until the second act. Evoking later movies like the Sinbad film Harryhausen worked on, it stands as a fun enough fantasy family film, a storybook come to life in vivid Technicolor. The plot is all over the place, but in the best fairy tale way.

a year ago


Really, best cinematography this studio movie?? I've preferred the silent version.

8 years ago


Thank you, but our princess is in another castle! Probably the first bromance movie.

5 months ago

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