MON CINEMA: The Thief of Bagdad (1940)


MON CINEMA: The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
by Darius Kadivar

Prince Ahmad is the rightful King of Bagdad but he has been blinded and cast out as a beggar. Now a captive of the wicked Grand Vizier Jaffar he is cast into a dungeon where he meets Abu, the best thief in all Bagdad. Together they escape and set about a series of adventures that involve a Djinni in a bottle, a mechanical flying horse, an all-seeing magic jewel, a flying carpet and a beautiful princess. A Gem of Technicolour and early Film Era Special Effects, Alexander Korda's The Thief of Bagdad brings all the Magic of the Thousand and One Nights Tale to Screen in this 1940's classic.

Available on DVD at


In ancient Bagdad, the young prince Ahmad (John Justin) is betrayed, deposed, and imprisoned by his vizier Jaffar (Conrad Veidt), an evil and calculating man who is also a master of the Black Arts. But Ahmad is saved from prison, and certain execution, by Abu (Sabu), a young thief who has made his way in life by stealing whatever he needs. Together they escape from Bagdad and make their way to the port city of Basra, where they hope to sign to sail with the renowned sailor Sinbad. But Ahmad chances to catch a glimpse of the daughter (June Duprez) of the Sultan (Miles Malleson, who also co-wrote the screenplay), and falls hopelessly in love with her. Sneaking into the garden where she spends most of her days, she meets him and the two are bound together forever in that moment, he the first man she has ever seen, and she the most beautiful woman he has ever beheld. But no sooner have they declared their love for each other then Jaffar arrives in Basra, seeking the princess' hand in marriage -- and to secure the blessing of her father, a fanatical collector of toys, he offers the aging Sultan a fantastic mechanical flying horse that bears him into the clouds at will. The sultan agrees to the marriage, but the princess flees the city. Abu and Ahmad are captured and before either can tell the sultan of their plight, Jaffar works his magic, leaving Ahmad blind and transforming Abu into a dog -- conditions that will remain until he holds the princess in his arms.

Conrad Veidt - Jaffar
Sabu - Abu
June Duprez - Princess
John Justin - Prince Achmad
Rex Ingram - Djinni
Miles Malleson - Old Sultan
Morton Selten - Old King
Mary Morris - Halima
Bruce Winston - Merchant
Hay Petrie - Astrologer
Adelaide Hall - Singer
Roy Emerton - Jailer
Allan Jeayes - Storyteller
Frederick Burtwell - Unnamed Character
Miki Hood
Glynis Johns - Unnamed Character
Norman Pierce - Unnamed Character
Michael Powell
John Salew - Unnamed Character
David Sharpe
Tim Whelan, Sr.


more from Darius Kadivar
Ryszard Antolak


by Ryszard Antolak on

Merci Darius,

I think this must be the one.

I'd like to see it again. Maybe I should buy the DVD.

Many thanks as always for your help


Darius Kadivar

Your refering to Sinbad the Sailor (1947)

by Darius Kadivar on

I see which film you have in mind its :

Sinbad the Sailor (1947)

And in this case it is set actually in Persia and mentioned so in the movie ;0)

Its available on DVD on

Here is the Intro tagline :

"O Masters, O Noble Persons, O Brothers, know you that in the time of the Caliph Harun-Al-Rashid, there lived on the golden shore of Persia a man of adventure called Sinbad the Sailor. Strange and wondrous were the tales told of him and his voyages. But who, shall we surmise, gave him his immortality? Who, more than all other sons of Allah, spread glory to the name of Sinbad? Who else, O Brother, but - Sinbad: - Sinbad the Sailor! Know me, O Brothers, for the truth of my words, and by the ears of the Prophet, every word I have spoken is truth!


Ryszard Antolak

Douglas Fairbanks Junior

by Ryszard Antolak on

Thanks for the reply, Darius, and for the link.

But the one I saw wasn't a silent. I'm certain (unless my memories are all messed up). And I'm sure it was with Douglas Fairbank Jn (not senior). Maybe the name of the film was different.

This is going to worry me now.......


Darius Kadivar

Glad you liked it Ryszard ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

I think the one you are refering too is also a great silent movie from 1924 with Douglas Fairbanks. The technicolour one here was indeed a remake.

Here are the references:


Ryszard Antolak

One of my favourite films

by Ryszard Antolak on


this was one of my favourite films as a child. I more than enjoyed it: I lived it!

But I remember Douglas Fairbanks in the title role. Was there another Thief of Baghdad with Fairbanks? Or am I just totally confused?