Friday, May 01, 2009

The Thief of Baghdad (1961)

This 1961 version of The Thief of Baghdad stars Steve Reeves and is directed by Arthur Lubin.

It is in one piece but with Spanish subtitles here:

or in 9 pieces beginning here.

The New York Times begins its review by saying,
You might not think "The Thief of Baghdad" could be so completely hacked that this fixture of fantasy fiction would come out a dull and ponderous film. Well, you haven't estimated the genius of the hacks of producer Joseph E. Levine, whose Italian-made version of the classic arrived in neighborhood theatres yesterday.

Moria says it is "dreary and impoverished of imagination" and
The problem with the film is that, despite the lavishness afforded to it, it befalls director Arthur Lubin. Arthur Lubin was primarily a comedy director who had made a number of Abbott and Costello films, as well as directed the entire Francis the Talking Mule series
Arthur Lubin has a thoroughly workmanlike pedestrianness of approach and resolutely refuses to allow the fantasy in the film here to fly in any way.

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