Arabian Nights (Universal Cinema Classics)
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are looking for exotic, colorful, action adventure in beautiful Technicolor, you are in for a great treat.
note: since this review was written in 2006, both Cobra Woman and
Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves have been released on dvd.
DIRECTOR: John Rawlins
CAST: Edgar Barrier, Leif Erickson, Billy Gilbert, Thomas Gomez, Jon Hall, John Qualen, Sabu, Shemp Howard, Maria Montez (As: Sherezade)
COMMENTS: The legal heir to the throne of the Caliph, played by Jon Hall, is attacked and almost murdered by his evil brother, played by Leif Erickson, who seizes the throne.
A dancing girl (Maria Montez) finds the wounded heir and nurses him back to health. They fall in love, and he sets off on a series of adventures accompanied by a trusted friend (Sabu), an aging Aladdin in search of his mislaid lamp (John Qualen), and a bragging, shiftless Sinbad in his declining years (Shemp Howard).
It's all adolescent adventure but great fun and the production is lavish in all areas, particularly the costumes, sets, and wonderful, lush color which the public was impressed with. The film earned Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Interior Decoration, Best Sound, and Best Score.
To Maria, it was her first important role, as the beautiful dancer Scherezade, considering that she had to deal with an absurd dialogue. And this was the movie that gave her the nickname of "The Queen of Technicolor".
The real show on this is the presence of that genius named Maria Montez, an incredibly bad actress, that finds her way in this type of nonsensical "It is Written" adventures, that makes the desert of Arizona the ideal faking for Arab-themed stories. She's ideal with cheap jewelry and exaggerated make-up, and dancing with an inneffable style (her dancing shows in these films are astonishing, specially in Cobra woman).
While it's not entirely faithful to the original stories and legends on which it bases itself, ARABIAN NIGHTS comes alive with lots of colour and pageantry. Jon Hall and Maria Montez (in the first pairing of a long screen partnership) are wonderful to watch. The cast also boasts Sabu and Turhan Bey.
The new DVD from Universal's Cinema Classics line boasts a newly-restored Technicolor transfer, plus a fun introduction from Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne. (Single-sided, single-layer disc).
This is a 1942 gloriously technicolor movie that was just what America needed to take it's mind off our boys fighting in WWII. It starts off in a harem, where an older gentleman is sleeping/ snoring when he is supposed to be teaching the ladies in a harem a story. When he finally awakens, the story that is unvieled is about a beautiful dancer named, "Sherazda" who sends a spurned lover off on what she thinks is an unattainable quest...to become the Caliph. Little does she know he is the brother of the Caliph and does exactly that.
Sherazada is breath-takingly played by Maria Montez, who can chill or warm a man with one look from her eyes. The girl has got it goin' on. She is a member of a traveling circus and it was foretold to her that she would marry into royalty and reign. Joining her in the circus is a wonderful diverse cast of characters, including, I was excited to see, the man who played, "Shemp" in the three stooges, and a gifted young actor named, "Sabu".
While doing what we would now call a, "pyramid", with Sabu on the very top, Sabu ( Ali ) sees the good Caliph shot with an arrow ( his brother had taken Sherazada's words to heart and started to take over the kingdom ). Jon Hall plays Haroun-Al-Roschid, the good Caliph, and he and his would be assassin tumble a couple of stories to the ground. Sabu sees this while performing and comes to Jon's rescue. Sabu hides the true Caliph's identity, knowing that the Caliph's brother would continue to hunt him down.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A blast from the past
Calm you down after a long week of work, let your imagination go and travel to that interesting part of the world so many years ago.
A great film that provides hours of entertainment. Full of excitement, danger and stars of long ago, it remains a good film for all the family.Published 5 months ago by Vandella's Views
Fun film for all ages. These are the classic films we grew up with. It was fun to share the memories with the kids and grandparents.Published 6 months ago by Howzatar
It's like a Lassie movie. 5 minutes into it you know how it is going to end.Published 8 months ago by R D Henard
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