THE THIEF OF BAGDAD
$7 Member $12.50 Regular
NEW DCP RESTORATION
Starring DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS
Music Composed, Conducted and Arranged by CARL DAVIS
(1924, Raoul Walsh) “HAPPINESS MUST BE EARNED.” In a Bagdad influenced by the Arabian Nights, the Ballets Russes, Art Nouveau, and Fritz Lang, Doug Fairbanks’ thief, jumping effortlessly from earthenware jar to jar, wins princess Julanne Johnston by posing as a prince himself. But then, after a treasure hunt competition with the princess’ other suitors, he’s got to save her by thwarting a power grab by Mongol prince Sojin Kamiyama (30 years later in Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai). A, flying horse, the Caverns of Fire, the Valleys of Monsters, the Flight of a Thousand Stairs, and magic carpet (suspended from a 90-foot-high crane by piano wires): a festival of wonders, with incredible, still-spectacular-to-this-day sets - designed by art directing-genius William Cameron Menzies (Gone With the Wind, Invaders from Mars, etc.) - seeming to shimmer in the air. Playwright/critic Robert Sherwood called it at the time “the farthest and most sudden advance that a movie has made.” This new DCP restoration (culled from two 35mm negatives and incorporating the color tints and tones of the original release prints) features silent film score maestro Carl Davis (Napoleon) conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra, performing a magnificent score that intermingles Davis’ own music with the iconic Orientalia of Rimsky-Korsakov. Approx. 149 min (plus intermission). DCP.
A COHEN FILM COLLECTION RELEASE
“Fairbanks’s sheer pantaloons were suggested by the trousers worn in the Diaghilev-Bakst ballet Scheherezade… His movements are beautiful, fluid, and graceful, the exaggerated movements of a dancer, perfectly suited to the stylized fantasy and enormous scale of the production.”
– Jeffrey Vance
"Evocative, exciting and even funny, this classic was among the budget-busting box-office behemoths of the silent era. It's still a reliable source for eye-popping visuals and old-fashioned adventure, with a star whose charisma hasn't faded one bit."
- New York magazine
"Literally a magic carpet ride of effects and stunts. It's so imaginative and extraordinary."
– Kevin Brownlow
"American silent cinema at its most flamboyant! A dizzy conglomeration of Manhattan chic, Art Deco, and rampant Chinoiserie guaranteed to amaze the eyes!”
– Geoff Brown, Time Out (London)
“No film of Fairbanks's presented a greater spectacle than Thief of Bagdad, his magnum opus. Having dazzled audiences with his enormous sets for Robin Hood, he chose to outdo himself for his Arabian Nights movie. On the one hand, Thief is the movie you want to see as a kid, when its wonderful special effects can work their best magic. On the other hand, its magnificent design, its sophisticated sense of Arabian Nights fantasies, and its tongue-in-cheek star may be best appreciated by adults. In other words, it's a film for all ages and for all decades."
– Jeanine Basinger
"THE AVATAR OF ITS DAY!"
- Dave Kehr