LA CUEVA DE ALI-BABA (1954)
aka The Cave of Ali Baba
Article 4096 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Mario C. Lugones
Featuring Mario Amaya, Alejandro Anderson, Gogo Andreu
What it is: Musical comedy
Two variety performers inherit an old factory that they decide to convert into a nightclub, unaware that the site is being used by a gang of criminals.
Okay, you’re compiling a list of fantasy genre movies, and you come across an Argentine movie with the translated title of THE CAVE OF ALI BABA. You know nothing about the plot of the movie, so you’re left to your own devices to figure out whether it qualifies as genre or not. What would you assume, based on the title? I’d assume it would be a retelling of the classic Arabian nights tale with the magic cave and the “Open Sesame” password. That would certainly seem more likely than assuming that it was the name of a themed nightclub.
This is my way of saying that I can forgive the various sources that listed this one as genre; the latter description is the one that is correct in this case, and, though I may be wrong (my copy is in unsubtitled Spanish), there appears to be no genre elements in this one at all. No, I couldn’t follow it, but it does seem like your typical comedy musical. I missed the jokes, but at least the musical numbers don’t need explanation, and some of them are pretty silly. At least one of the musical numbers is in English; a duo sings a version of Hank Williams’s “Hey, Good Looking”. As a result of the musical numbers, the movie was sporadically entertaining for me. Nevertheless, the lack of real genre content makes this movie one of the false leads that I’ve found on this journey through genre movies.