The Thief of Bagdad
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Douglas Fairbanks is at his most graceful and charismatic in one of the classic silent films of the 1920s. As the thief of Baghdad, his movements are dance-like -- nothing like the athletics he performed in most of his other films. In this Arabian take, the thief ignores the holy teachings and sneaks into the palace of the Caliph (Brandon Hurst). All thoughts of robbery slip away, however, when he sees the beautiful princess (Julanne Johnston). Princes have come from many faraway lands to win the princess' hand (and it's amusing to watch her face growing ever more alarmed at their… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It is like reading the Arabian Nights at one sitting, with only six minutes allowed to stretch the limbs and get the contrast of a workaday world."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"A grinning, bare-chested Douglas Fairbanks shimmies up a rope and enters a room in the palace, intending to steal a casket of baubles. Instead, his eyes fall on Princess Julanne Johnston... Of such things movie myths are made."
‑ Adrian Turner, Radio Times
"... one of the grandest and most glorious spectacles of the silent era."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Parallax View
"Visually spectacular mix of adventure movie and fantasy."
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
"The film has a joyful sort of grandeur that's basically dead in the modern cinema."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Walsh's dynamism is evident in every frame of this deftly Americanized fantasy, beautifully designed by William Cameron Menzies."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The film's 149-minute running time might test the patience of even the most devout silent film fan, but the decadent costumes, elaborate sets, and Fairbanks's copious talents provide more than enough baroque pleasure to pass the time."
‑ Meredith Slifkin, Film Comment Magazine
"A victory of style over substance."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"A visual extravaganza."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Unprecedented special effects and sets… perhaps the first great achievement of cinematic epic mythopoeia, and the forerunner to the likes of The Lord of the Rings."
‑ Steven D. Greydanus, Decent Films Guide
"Korda's version of 1940 has the quirks and the luscious colour, but this one has the electric energy."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Propelled by the actor's acrobatic stunts and groundbreaking special effects, Thief of Bagdad is pure pleasure."
‑ Jamie S. Rich, Oregonian
"Douglas Fairbanks is magnetic in this fun early adventure."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"The immense space -- both vertical and horizontal -- in this film finally seemed enough to contain Fairbanks' sheer gusto."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Full of astounding effects way ahead of their time, this first screen version of the famous Arabian Nights fable is wonderfully extravagant."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for The Thief of Bagdad on Rotten Tomatoes