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Arabian Nights (Universal Cinema Classics) (1942)

Maria Montez , Jon Hall , John Rawlins  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Maria Montez, Jon Hall, Sabu
  • Directors: John Rawlins
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Restored, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: February 6, 2007
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KGGJ18
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,135 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Arabian Nights (Universal Cinema Classics)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Exclusive Introduction by Turner Classic Movies Host and Film Historian Robert Osborne
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Product Description

    Prepare for every wish to be answered in the dazzling film spectacular Arabian Nights! See the passionate romance, lavish riches and exotic splendor of this classic fable that was "beautifully mounted in Technicolor" (Leonard Maltin), nominated for four Academy Awards and is now magically brought to life with a digitally remastered picture. Jon Hall, Maria Montez and Sabu star in this lush epic story of two half brothers who battle each other for the power of the throne and the love of a sensual, gorgeous dancing girl, Scheherazade. It's a thrilling adventure you can't afford to miss!

    Warning: Technicolor silliness ahead, as Universal's nutty series of turban-and-camel movies comes into view. Arabian Nights was the first of these confections, and after it became a big wartime hit it spawned a series of follow-ups, most of them starring some combination of Maria Montez, Jon Hall, Sabu, and Turhan Bey. The story is nonsense, with Hall as a deposed caliph battling his half-brother (Leif Erickson) while remaining incognito amongst a group of traveling players. Montez plays dancing vixen Scheherazade, and her crazy costumes and limited acting range give ample evidence for her later enshrinement as a camp icon. The film's level of seriousness is aptly demonstrated by the casting of Shemp Howard (of the Three Stooges--like there's another Shemp Howard?) as Sinbad; John Qualen plays Aladdin, and vaudeville pro Billy Gilbert plays the leader of the troupe. Coming off best is Sabu, the young star of The Thief of Baghdad and The Jungle Book, whose innate likability is infectious even in these inane circumstances. Arabian Nights probably isn't the most fun of these movies; check out Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and Robert Siodmak's crazed Cobra Woman, too. They work on two fronts: family-movie fodder and high camp. --Robert Horton

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Maria Montez , Queen of Technicolor, at last on DVD November 30, 2006
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    At last, Universal is releasing the first Maria Montez & Jon Hall adventure classic in glorious Technicolor. I was surprised to see that this was not part of a Collection of 6 Montez films, but happy to get these 1940s classics any way Universal wants to release them. ARABIAN NIGHTS (1942) is great Saturday-matinee fun, but some of the others are even better: COBRA WOMAN (1944) is by far the best, with Montez playing dual roles. ALI BABA AND THE 40 THIEVES (1944) is also a wonderful action adventure, as are WHITE SAVAGE (1943), SUDAN (1945) & GYPSY WILDCAT (1944). I hope Universal will soon release all of these long-neglected classics. I have been waiting a long time.
    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.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars ARABIAN NIGHTS (1942) April 25, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
    (Action/Adventure, 1 hr 26 min, Technicolor) Universal - U.S.A.
    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".
    Comment | 
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    18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT ADVENTURE TALE FOR WHOLE FAMILY September 19, 1999
    By logan_a
    Format:VHS Tape
    From the foolish acts of her father, Sheherazade is cast under a spell by evil caliph. But, true love (Shemp) is artfully working to save her. The forty-thieves come to ride. Sabu (from the Jungle Book) helps until he finds a curiosity in an old Genie's lamp. This is the first teaming of Montez, Hall, and Sabu. Thankful the successful trio went on to make more. If some reviewers find this tale trite, perhaps it is because it lacks the gore and step-by-step sex of other flicks. This is for the whole family and to me, a fun tale. Enjoy
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    16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Scherezade in Arizona March 13, 2003
    Format:VHS Tape
    One of the most beloved escapisms from 40's Warner Bros., that features Maria Montez, Sabu and Jon Hall as the most energetic trio in this sexy camp classic, that it's a sure, colorful entertainment; a rollercoasting Hollywood carnival.
    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).
    Was this review helpful to you?
    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars must-see Arabian fantasy February 13, 2008
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    Universal's first movie in complete three-strip Technicolor was ARABIAN NIGHTS, produced by Walter Wanger and starring the gorgeous South American spitfire, Maria Montez.

    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).
    Was this review helpful to you?
    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Technicolor Queen March 3, 2008
    By Angeluz
    This movie is really a classic and besides been from the 1940's they have good special effects. It was a movie i used to watch as child, i used to love all the old classic movies, today is my passion.
    I loved all the costumes.

    By the way a clarification on a previous review.
    Maria Montez was from the Dominican Republic, from the city of Barahona, not from South America.

    As Dominican myself i'm very proud of what she acomplished and really sad of her passing so young.
    I'll recommend this to anyone that likes oldies or classics.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Escapist Fun February 7, 2007
    Maria Montez finally on DVD -- and better late than never! The Queen of Universal Technicolor in the 40's, this beauty starred in a slew of films that showcased her good looks in scanty harem wear more than her acting ability. A late show staple for years (and inspiration for generations of gay men), Montez is unknown to many current film fans. But it's hard to imagine anyone, from the kids to Grandpa, not getting a kick from her movies, and ARABIAN NIGHTS is a fine place to start investigating. Full of breathless action, corny comedy, epic romance, and eyepopping color, it's ideal Saturday afternoon fare. Grab some popcorn and hunker down for a great time.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars An oldie, but goodie! Hadn't seen it since ...
    An oldie, but goodie! Hadn't seen it since I was a kid.
    Thank ;you!!
    Published 19 days ago by Trainer
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Just what my mother was looking for. Thank you
    Published 3 months ago by Catherine J Matteson
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    great movie
    Published 3 months ago by Daniel H.
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    An ok Jon Hall Movie.
    Published 3 months ago by Marvin Price
    4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a Sand & Sandals Adventure
    Just a quick comment on this film. Love these over the top films. Loved the one Arabian guy, Sinbad, who had all these stories to tell his pals, with a Brooklyn accent. Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Scotman's Critic's Corner
    4.0 out of 5 stars First-class fluff
    Absolutely wonderful nonsense, a kitsch standard that instantly created its own delightfully silly genre when it opened in 1942. Read more
    Published 10 months ago by Eric O. Allstrom
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good Old Movies
    nothing like the good old movies great sets and actors and good story everyone would like this movie they should try it
    Published 14 months ago by Laura Autry Johnson
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Service and a great movie!
    This is an excellent movie for those that like the classics! I couldn't believe at some of the actors in this Howard Keel who played in "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" is... Read more
    Published 14 months ago by kookie41
    5.0 out of 5 stars RICHARD J.SPANBURGH 50'S GURU
    Universal's Arabian Nights starring Jon Hall.Maria Montez is the first big Walter Wanger production that brought beautiful color onto the movie screen. Read more
    Published 17 months ago by RICHARD J. SPANBURGH
    3.0 out of 5 stars Olod school movie soundtrack was weak
    Great movie great storyline needed some music in the background.However I will watch it again. The actors were very believable.
    Published 19 months ago by Joshua Armendariz
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