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The tale of Arabian Nights is an ancient one about the beautiful Scheherezade (played by lovely Israeli actress Mili Avital, best known to Americans from Stargate) who tries to cure the mad Sultan Schahriar (Scottish actor Dougray Scott) through her considerable story telling ability. At first, Schahriar is a suspicious, childish man but then as his wife's tales grip him, he begins to see the lessons she is teaching him. So, what starts as a marriage based on convenience and murder becomes a truly deep relationship.
Scheherezade's tales are brought to life by a variety of stars in a variety of settings. Some of the "Saturday Morning Cartoon" feel of the stories is removed and many of them return to their roots. The tale of Aladdin, for example, was originally set in China with the bad guy as a sort of African Shaman and that is what is used in this version. Also, the fact that there were two genies is brought to light. (American John Leguizamo is very good in the duel roles as the genies of the lamp and ring) Historical findings are also used (the clay sldiers used in a Chinese tomb to guard the dead are incorporated) And lesser known tales such as the story of Bacbac are used.Read more ›
Scheherazade (Mili Avital) marries the Sultan Schahriar (Dougray Scott) even though she knows that his mad mind has contrived a plan to execute his new wife the morning after their wedding. After they are married, she proceeds to spend every wakeful night with him, feeding his imagination with wondrous tales!
This is based on the classic work of writing - A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS, by Sir Richard Burton. It includes ancient tales that had been passed down for hundreds and even thousands of years! Five of these stories, including the tale of Ali Baba (Rufus Sewell) and Aladdin (Jason Scott Lee) are woven and portrayed upon the screen here in brilliant fashion! The special effects are far beyond what one would ever expect - even from a big-screen movie. I am sure, in fact, that this was only made for cable because it is a captivating 4-hours long!
The performances herein are as excellent as ever one can come by - Mili Avital and Dougray Scott are both so lovely and possess a wonderful chemistry - And the settings are nothing less than exquisite! If you have four or so hours of easy leisure - I recommend this for both its insight and its beauty~~
But I watched, and was glad I did. "Arabian Nights" is that rare TV attempt that does justice to the original book it's based on (1001 Nights). The miniseries is told in a tight two nights (175 minutes total on DVD), and is an example of a production in which everything was done right. The DVD itself not only boasts a beautifully rendered and uncut version of the film, it also offers an enjoyable look behind the scenes, plus the standard bios and production notes -- as well as some unusually beautiful interactive menus featuring a hint of magic in each one.
The special effects for "Arabian Nights" are beautifully done, and without the overkill usually associated with this kind of TV fare. There's also a poetry missing from most TV family entertainment -- a beautiful score, and a thoughtfully written script (by Peter Barnes). The actors also rise to the challenge: From the graceful Mili Avital, who makes a lovely and spirited Sheherazade, to Dougray Scott's complex, tormented, and surprisingly sympathetic Sultan, and delightful guest appearances from the likes of Jason Scott Lee, Rufus Sewell, Alan Bates, and many more -- Arabian Nights is one of those rare gems whose substance more than matches its style.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I remember watching this when it was a mini-series on TV! My grandma taped it for us and sadly we lost those tapes so I was surprised to see it available on DVD! Read morePublished 22 days ago by Lindsey Gowdy
Why can't we buy it or download the full DVD. Why is the chopped-up version the only one available?
I bought the 2 DVD's and really enjoyed watching part 1 and 2. Read more
Love this movie/TV Series....the best telling of the stories of the Shaherizod!Published 10 months ago by Tharen