- SKU: 29601318
- Release Date: 12/01/2015
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In this visual essay from documentary filmmaker Chuck Workman, clips from boundary-pushing films are intercut with interviews with such acclaimed filmmakers as David Lynch, Michael Moore, Robert Altman, Alfred Hitchcock, and Akira Kurosawa. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
The Thief of Bagdad
Douglas Fairbanks is at his most graceful and charismatic in one of the classic silent films of the 1920s. As the thief of Baghdad, his movements are dance-like -- nothing like the athletics he performed in most of his other films. In this Arabian take, the thief ignores the holy teachings and sneaks into the palace of the Caliph (Brandon Hurst). All thoughts of robbery slip away, however, when he sees the beautiful princess (Julanne Johnston). Princes have come from many faraway lands to win the princess' hand (and it's amusing to watch her face growing ever more alarmed at their arrival, because each one is uglier than the last). The thief disguises himself as a prince and the princess falls in love with him. After having a pang of conscience, the thief confesses all to the Holy Man (Charles Belcher), who sends him to find a magic chest. He braves many obstacles to get it, and when he returns he discovers that the Mongol Prince (Sojin) has taken over the city. Using the chest, the reformed thief creates armies of men out of nothingness and recaptures the city. He then uses the cloak of invisibility to spirit the princess away on a magic carpet. Fairbanks stole some of the special effects for his film from Fritz Lang's Der Müde Tod, which he had purchased for American distribution. The Thief of Baghdad, with its look of unrealistic beauty (courtesy of art director William Cameron Menzies), was not fully appreciated in its day. Because of its huge cost (two million dollars -- a real fortune in those days), it made little money. After that, Fairbanks stuck closer to the swashbuckling persona he felt his audience wanted. Available now on DVD, the remastered film features a new score by Carl Davis. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi
Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
Chuck Workman's documentary Magician: The Astounding Life and Work of Orson Welles surveys the influential career of the celebrated superstar by including clips from just about all of his movies. The filmmakers also reveal how he became one of the biggest stars in the world before the age of 25, battled his entire career to raise money to make movies the way he wanted to, and lived an outsized life until his death in 1985. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi