Thief of Bagdad (1940)
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Top Customer Reviews
As for the purported colour saturation differences between the two discs, from my close scrutiny of the movies, I'd have to say that there isn't any difference at all.
The reds look over saturated to the point where the Grand Vizier's turban bleeds slightly, the blues are sky blue bright, and the skin tones are coppery, which is true to the skin tones of the people populating this movie.
The real question now should be, why Criterion chose to release this film as is, without attempting to do any restoration?
I had thought that the reason for the exuberant prices of Criterion DVDs was because we where suppose to be getting the best possible prints of films, but in this case, we're giving the same print with some extras, and expected to pay 3 times the price of the MGM disc.
Also of note, the chapter selection is better on the MGM disc as there are pictures with the captions, where as the Criterion chapter select, is text only (something Anchor Bay did away with years ago, because it was too confusing, i.e. the Evil Dead DVD, "Evil dead attack", um, which evil dead attack, there are several, so the description is useless).Read more ›
There are two reasons that THE THIEF OF BAGDAD is a great film and has stood the test of time. The first is the tremendous art direction. The movie is a function of Korda's vision. French auteur criticism holds that the "author" of a film is the director, but this is clearly an exception to that. Korda, the producer, was the creative force behind this film, and, in fact, employed as many as a half dozen directors during the course of making the film. One of the uncredited directors and one of the credited art directors was the great William Cameron Menzies, regarded as one of the giants in art design in film history. Even today, this is a gorgeous film to look at, and in an age when computers can create absolutely anything on the screen, it is delightful to watch a film in which others managed to achieve magic working with considerably less than we possess.
The second reason that this film succeeds so marvelously is the cast. Ironically, the ostensible lead in the film is remarkably forgettable. But several of the other performances are quite unforgettable.Read more ›
As the film begins, we're introduced to a blind beggar named Ahmad (Justin), and his very intelligent dog, both of whom are more than they appear. Ahmad soon relates a tale, and we learn of a man who was once king, and how he became friends with a clever young thief from the streets named Abu, played by Sabu (see what they did? The just removed the `S' from Sabu to get Abu...pretty smart, huh?). We also learn of the king's downfall at the hands of Jaffar (Veidt), a greedy, dastardly fellow with a penchant for magics and trickery.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"The Thief of Bagdad" is one of the most spectacular visual achievements in cinema in the first half of the 20th century. Read morePublished 5 days ago by B. Adducchio
I own only the MGM DVD and have not seen the Criterion release nor have I viewed my disc in some time but having watched the film many times and again today on TCM I feel... Read morePublished 2 months ago by JD
Wow this is a great movie. In color as this was the era when movies started coming out in color. This one was especially a lot of fun to watch. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Plageron