Douglas Fairbanks spared no expense for what may be the most lavish fantasy movie ever made. Inspired by the flying-carpet effects of Fritz Lang's somber but spectacular Der Müde Tod, Fairbanks (ever the canny businessman)... more » bought the American rights, then hid the film away as he created his own show-stopping adventure, an adaptation of A Thousand and One Nights in which the magic-carpet ride was but one of many fantastic marvels. Swaggering through massive marketplace sets and cavernous throne rooms as an incorrigible thief and pickpocket, he scales towering walls (with the help of a magic rope) and leads a merry chase through crowded bazaars in his pursuit of loot--until he falls in love with the beautiful princess and vows to win her heart. This jaunty opening is but mere preamble to the spectacular second act. As three kings scour the globe to retrieve the rarest treasures known to man, the repentant thief embarks on an odyssey through caverns of fire and underwater caves. The marvelous special effects--from the smoke-belching dragon and underwater spider to the flying horse and magic armies arising from the dust--may show their seams but glow with a timeless sense of wonder. William Cameron Menzies's magnificent sets appear to have leapt from the pages of a storybook. As the adventure concludes in a torrent of movie magic that cascades nonstop through the breathless final hour, Fairbanks commands the screen with a hearty laugh and graceful athleticism, the cinema's first action hero triumphant. Kino's restored edition is tinted and features an organ score by Gaylord Carter. --Sean Axmaker« less
"In 1924 the Thief of Bagdad was produced for the (then) stagering cost of $2.5 million! The range of emotions, the sense of location, the mysteries of Babalon, and the sheer magnitism of Douglas Fairbanks (a carefree pickpocket) alone makes this special. Flying carpets, dragons, winged horses and the Indian rope trick add a sureal touch with special effects that were exceptional for the era.
Fold in the music (adapted from the original 1924 cue sheets), an introduction by Orson Wells, and very rare special effects footage and it becomes an absolute masterpiece for your film collection.
This release has been recently mastered from the archival 35 millimeter negatives and provides a digital stereo soundtrack. It is a must!"
Douglas Fairbank's best work
Resident | 01/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Directed by Raoul Walsh in 1924, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD is definitely the OG Arabian Nights fantasy in Silent Film. A 1940 Technicolored version was released starring Sabu but the two versions are complete opposites. The biggest difference is that the 1924 version starring Swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks does not have a Genie popping out of a bottle to grant 3 wishes.
With lavish production sets and great trick photography, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD is both visually stunning and far ahead of its time. Reported to be on of the first Million Dollar productions of the time, you can see that the money was spent on the sets. Douglas Fairbanks gives the performance of a lifetime in this classic tale set in "The Dream City of the East." "
One of the fest silent films ever!
John M. Kingsbury | Grand Rapids, Michigan | 12/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
I had a VHS version of this film and have watched it several time with friends. I jumped at the chance to get it again on DVD.
The film is so good that you forget that it is silent and just enjoy the story.
A note of interest the art director on this film William Cameron Menzies is the producer of the 1941 version of this film, another of the all time great fantasy films.
There is also a version made in the early 60s staring Steve Reeves that follows the original film faithfully and is worth seeing.
Gloria Swanson | Oak Park, Mi United States | 08/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Watching this movie is like having a fairy tale dream. It's a must have to all silent film lovers."
Great classic movie, ok DVD
Christopher Koch | Seattle, WA | 11/06/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Like many classic movies, unless it is Wizard of OZ or Gone with the Wind the DVD edition is very simple. The DVD works fine and the movie is certainly better than VHS but the DVD box and the final quality of the packaging is more Dollar store than Best Buy."