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Thief of Bagdad

Douglas Fairbanks , Julanne Johnston , Raoul Walsh    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 82.40
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Product Description

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Douglas Fairbanks spared no expense for what may be the most lavish fantasy movie ever made. Inspired by the flying-carpet effects of Fritz Lang's somber but spectacular Der Müde Tod, Fairbanks (ever the canny businessman) bought the American rights, then hid the film away as he created his own show-stopping adventure, an adaptation of A Thousand and One Nights in which the magic-carpet ride was but one of many fantastic marvels. Swaggering through massive marketplace sets and cavernous throne rooms as an incorrigible thief and pickpocket, he scales towering walls (with the help of a magic rope) and leads a merry chase through crowded bazaars in his pursuit of loot--until he falls in love with the beautiful princess and vows to win her heart. This jaunty opening is but mere preamble to the spectacular second act. As three kings scour the globe to retrieve the rarest treasures known to man, the repentant thief embarks on an odyssey through caverns of fire and underwater caves. The marvelous special effects--from the smoke-belching dragon and underwater spider to the flying horse and magic armies arising from the dust--may show their seams but glow with a timeless sense of wonder. William Cameron Menzies's magnificent sets appear to have leapt from the pages of a storybook. As the adventure concludes in a torrent of movie magic that cascades nonstop through the breathless final hour, Fairbanks commands the screen with a hearty laugh and graceful athleticism, the cinema's first action hero triumphant. Kino's restored edition is tinted and features an organ score by Gaylord Carter. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

Carefree Ahmed the Thief must endure various fantastic adventures to woo the beautiful Princess away from the villianous Mongol Prince. Features score from original cue sheets by organist Gaylord Carter.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thief of Bagdad (Deluxe Edition) from Kino Jan. 6 2004
Format:DVD
Douglas Fairbanks' "The Thief of Bagdad" is in the public domain, so it's no surprise that there are many DVD and VHS versions of this film available, from bargain basement tapes with no music taken from battered source prints, to high-quality editions with fine music and extras. (Many of the reviews given here are for different editions, so if they complain about the video transfer, missing scenes, or the musical score, keep in mind that such comments don't apply to all editions.)
The Kino "Deluxe Edition" is digitally mastered from a 35mm archive negative, with 19 minutes of rare outtakes and special effects footage as extras. The film is tinted throughout -- a color effect that was used on its initial release, and which adds greatly to the fantastic nature of the story and its immense sets.
The new score by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra (a quintet that specializes in reviving music used during the silent film era) is based loosely on the original "cue sheet" for the film by James Bradford. This means that you'll be hearing some of the music recommended for the film on its first release (although the music would have been different in each theater--silent film music was left up to the music director at each movie house). The music features many "oriental" pieces written for the silent film theater by forgotten "photoplay music" composers such as Gaston Borch and Irenee Berge, as well as pieces by classical composers like Rimsky-Korsakov who explored oriental themes. A written commentary and cue list of the music used is on the DVD as an extra, and can also be found at Mont Alto's web site, [...]
A different high-quality edition from Image Entertainment features an organ score by Gaylord Carter, who was a talented theater organist, and that's also a good choice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Un-clean, Un-clean! April 20 2009
Format:DVD
Don't buy this video if you have any love at all from this film. I am talking about the "Alpha Video" version only. From "The Silent Era" website:
"This budget edition of The Thief of Bagdad has been transferred from a Blackhawk Films 16mm reduction print and, therefore, has many of the shortcomings of that older print. The picture is slightly contrasty, with loss of detail in highlight areas. The print used for the transfer has some minor emulsion damage, several sections of exposure fluctuations throughout, splices, long vertical scratches, dust, and frame jitters. The original print has cropped the original print framing slightly, and the video transfer has not been windowboxed, with the result that some of the film's intertitles with be cropped to the point of difficult reading on some televisions."
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By Yves-Michel TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
After countless hours of watching B movies. I treated myself to this one. Simply put, every Sword and sandals/Dungeon and Dragons/Lord of the rings fan must see this one. It is jam-packed with special effects, gigantic sets, bigger-than-life monsters and fantstic animals. I did know that you could show such luscious women in 1924. The oriental lady (sexy) and the princess (eyes that can melt casted iron) are drop-dead gorgeous.

Fairbanks performance is athletic to say the least. It is almost circus like. His muscular, yet smooth, physique is timeless. Bodybuilders, please take notes. The film moves the viewers through a fast paced and well-structured fantasy scenario. There is something happaning every instant.

Even with a mega-nudget and the latest technology, this one would be tough to duplicate.

155 minutes of pleasure.... Sword and sandals style.
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