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Arabian Nights (Universal Cinema Classics) (John Rawlins)
Bibliographical information (record 180621)
Arabian Nights (Universal Cinema Classics)
John Rawlins Search Author in Amazon Books

Universal Studios
B000KGGJ18 Book Cover Image
DVD 005180
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Detailed notes
    - Warning: Technicolor silliness ahead, as Universal's nutty series of turban-and-camel movies comes into view. Arabian Nights was the first of these confections, and after it became a big wartime hit it spawned a series of follow-ups, most of them starring some combination of Maria Montez, Jon Hall, Sabu, and Turhan Bey. The story is nonsense, with Hall as a deposed caliph battling his half-brother (Leif Erickson) while remaining incognito amongst a group of traveling players. Montez plays dancing vixen Scheherazade, and her crazy costumes and limited acting range give ample evidence for her later enshrinement as a camp icon. The film's level of seriousness is aptly demonstrated by the casting of Shemp Howard (of the Three Stooges--like there's another Shemp Howard?) as Sinbad; John Qualen plays Aladdin, and vaudeville pro Billy Gilbert plays the leader of the troupe. Coming off best is Sabu, the young star of The Thief of Baghdad and The Jungle Book, whose innate likability is infectious even in these inane circumstances. Arabian Nights probably isn't the most fun of these movies; check out Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and Robert Siodmak's crazed Cobra Woman, too. They work on two fronts: family-movie fodder and high camp. --Robert Horton
    - Languages: English
    - Subtitles: Turkish
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