December 2nd, 2013: The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

Thief of Bagdad

Cast and Crew: Michael Powell (Co-Director); Alexander Korda (Producer)

What It’s About: Tricked off of his throne by the wicked sorcerer Jaffar (Conrad Veidt), Ahmad (John Justin) must ally with thief Abu (Sabu) on a quest to win back his kingdom-and his love, the Princess (June Deprez).

Why Watch it Today?: Sabu, whose career began just three years before today’s movie, died on this date in 1963.  While Sabu’s career would continue, eventually giving him the lead, here he’s just one of the supporting players, the best of which (Conrad Veidt at his most evil and Rex Ingram as a joyously devious djinni) are the real stars of the film, along with beautiful sets, costumes and matte paintings along with scale of the enterprise.

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