Reacting to Thief of Bagdad

from a_film_by:

jpcoursodon: I am really surprised and disappointed that you, of all people, should come up with such a superficial and dismissive review of one of the greatest fantasy movies ever made. Your piece almost reads like one of those snotty, condescending reviews some pseudo-intellectual, movie-despising critics were always writing in the thirties and forties. Oh well... You put it up on a _film_by so you asked for it...


A reprimand that somehow comes across as a compliment!

But I'm simply putting forth my reaction to some aspects of the film that, when considering other films in other countries, made at an admittedly later period, seem not to hold up (I'm talking about the decor and the--I don't know how else to put it, the 'disposable' portion of the cast (y'know, like the singing couple nobody notices in the Marx brothers comedies)). I'll stand on the good things I did say of the film, and say that I do consider it a great fantasy--just one against which I hold some reservations.

As for throwing in Reiniger's film--personal opinion, as I said. But as you pointed out, I did put it up on a_film_by, and you gave your opinion accordingly. Comments accepted.

David Ehrenstein: Interesting, Noel. But you should keep in mind that this film was made on the run as Hitler was attacking England at the time. Korda and company had to come to Hollywood to shoot parts of it, and then rush back to England to finish it -- this the many directors. The split you note between John Justin's adult romantic lead and Sabu's adventurous boy MAKES the film for me.

It's all about childhood peering over the edge into adulthood -- and pulling back in favor of adventure.

A tension between growing up and going out? That's interesting. I wish they had at least modulated the characters, gave Ahmad a bit of a spine; as it is, I find it hard to respect him, find it far easier to love Sabu. And Veidt.

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