The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
Rated: Not Rated
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Street Date: February 19, 2012
Available On: DVD and Blu-ray
The Film: Ahmed (Douglas Fairbanks) is content with his life as a thief until he sees a beautiful sleeping princess. To win her love Ahmed masquerades as a suitor.
The Extras: Audio commentary, behind-the-scenes featurette
Recommendation: Loosely based on “One Thousand and One Nights” and produced by Douglas Fairbanks for purportedly $2 million 1924’s “The Thief of Bagdad” is a sprawling silent epic filled with landmark special effects including a flying carpet and flying horse. Most of these effects are simplistic, but they work in their own unique way. The pace of the film, which clocks in at over two hours, does lull in a few places, but generally the film holds up as well as the more famous 1940 adaptation (which tells a slightly different story) starring Sabu.
Cohen Media Group’s new 2K transfer, sourced from two 35mm negatives and incorporating the color tints and tones of the original release prints, looks far better than I expected. In fact, previously only seen clips from low-quality sources, I was astounded.
-Ryan Michael Painter