The Thief of Bagdad [2 Discs] [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1940]

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Special Features

  • New digital transfer
  • Two audio commentaries
  • Optional music and effects track
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Visual effects documentary
  • The lion has wings
  • Excerpts from the codirector Michael Powell's audio dictation for his autobiography
  • Excerpts from a 1976 radio interview with compsoer Miklós Rózsa
  • Still Gallery


The Thief of Bagdad
In ancient Bagdad, Abu, a good-natured young thief (Sabu), befriends the deposed king Ahmad (John Justin) as both are imprisoned in the palace dungeon, awaiting execution under orders from the evil vizier Jaffar (Conrad Veidt), who has seized the throne. But they escape and make their way to Basra, where Ahmad, now living as a beggar, meets and falls in love with the Princess (June Duprez), who has been betrothed by her father the Sultan (Miles Malleson, who also wrote the screenplay) to Jaffar. Their fight for the love of the Princess triggers a series of adventures for the young Abu that brings him halfway around the world and into mystical realms with help from a towering genie (Rex Ingram), brushing up against the gods and transforming the little thief into a hero in the process. Along the way, we encounter a wide array of characters, some of them charming, such as the gentle Old King (Morton Selten), and some sinister, such as the devious Halima (Mary Morris), plus a range of color and lushly designed sets and set pieces (and special effects) that still dazzle the eye seven decades later, even in the wake of various remakes (which include Disney Studios' Aladdin). And it all leads to an amazing and suspenseful ride on a magic carpet, and a race against time to save the king and his beloved. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Conrad Veidt
    Conrad Veidt - Jaffar
  • Sabu
    Sabu - Abu
  • June Duprez
    June Duprez - Princess
  • John Justin
    John Justin - Prince Achmad
  • Rex Ingram
    Rex Ingram - Djinni

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