Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Thief of Bagdad (1924) **1/2


No, this film isn’t about W. or Dick.

Douglas Fairbanks stars in this 1924 silent classic, where people take magic carpet rides without the aid of hallucinogens. Fairbanks plays a handsome, happy-go-lucky thief, who through sheer acrobatic ability lands himself in the caliph’s pathieflace. He falls in love with the soon-to-be-wed princess and goes on a quest for a magic chest that will win him his love and save Bagdad from the evil Mongols.

The special effects are pretty advanced.  Favorites of mine include the winged horse, the magic carpet, and the fire-breathing dragon. If you rent the DVD it has a bonus section about the special effects. Fairbanks’ athleticism (and chest) is on full display from beginning to end. The caliph, played by Brandon Hurst, is a riot.

Overall, for its time, the film is a visual marvel. The story is captivating and has good pacing. A delightful film to watch.


  1. Indeed. I loved this one. Too bad it is the only entry with Douglas Fairbanks, though I have promised myself to check out his take on Robin Hood.

    1. The editors of the book must have been Fairbanks haters. I'm surprised he doesn't have more films on the list, too.