SON OF ALI BABA (1952)
Article 1947 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-14-2006
Posting Date: 12-11-2006
Directed by Kurt Neumann
Featuring Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie, Susan Cabot
When a slave girl of the Caliph seeks sanctuary from Kashma Baba (the son of Ali Baba), the wrath of the Caliph is incurred and Kashma Baba is forced to flee to the castle of his father. He then discovers that the slave girl is actually the Caliph’s daughter, and that it was all part of a plot by the Caliph to acquire Ali Baba’s treasure and to ruin his reputation in the eyes of the Shah. Kashma sets out to amend these wrongs.
If the trailer of this movie is to be believed, this movie was made because of the outpouring of fan letters requesting that the romantic leads in THE PRINCE WHO WAS A THIEF be reunited in another picture. Maybe that’s so; I wish they had asked for a decent script as well. Actually, I’m being a little unfair; the story isn’t just a rehash of the usual Arabian Nights tales that I’ve seen, and when you consider that I went into this movie with a certain glum weariness at the thought of enduring another entry in a genre I had quite tired of but then emerged from it having been somewhat entertained, that’s to be taken in its favor. But the heightened artificial Arabian Nights style dialogue is quite bad, and the actors struggle with it with varying success. Some of them emerge from it fairly unscathed; Victor Jory, Morris Ankrum, Gerald Mohr, Hugh O’Brian and Susan Cabot manage all right. The two leads are somewhat hit and miss in this regard. Those who fare the worst are the actor playing Kashma Baba’s guardian Babu, and the two bimbo man-hungry girls, but I don’t really blame them, because they’ve been given the worst roles; I can only feel sorry for Leon Belasco (as Babu) anytime he is called on to deliver the line “Aieeee!”, a line I hope I never encounter in my own experience as an actor. I also find it necessary to point out that the fantastic aspects of this movie (which are supposedly the main reason I covered this one in the first place) do not exist; there are no magic carpets, magic lamps, genies or anything of that nature. I guess it’s time to move on to the next one.