Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944)

Article 1852 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-10-2006
Posting Date: 9-7-2006
Directed by Arthur Lubin
Featuring Maria Montez, Jon Hall, Turhan Bey

When the son of the Kalif of Baghdad sees his father destroyed in a trap by Cassim (who betrays him to the Mongols), he encounters a band of thieves and recruits them to help him fight the Mongol threat.

It’s a Jon Hall – Maria Montez – Arabian Nights – Technicolor – epic. It’s not bad, I suppose, but quite frankly, I find little of interest here. I’ve just seen too many of them to get excited by them anymore (and by them, take your pick as to whether I mean Hall / Montez movies or Arabian Nights epics), and given that the fantastic nature is pretty light in this one (outside of the magical rock door that opens to “Open, O Sesame”, there’s nothing), my interest level flags pretty quickly. What pleasure I do get from them is usually tied to the character actors that fill out the edges, so I enjoy seeing Andy Devine, Turhan Bey and a quick cameo by Angelo Rossitto. Outside of that, it’s the usual scimitar-waving routine.


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