The Thief of Bagdad

The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

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The Thief of Bagdad Profile

Synopsis by Janiss Garza
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 arrival, because each one is uglier than the last). The thief disguises himself as a prince and the princess falls in love with him. After having a pang of conscience, the thief confesses all to the Holy Man (Charles Belcher), who sends him to find a magic chest. He braves many obstacles to get it, and when he returns he discovers that the Mongol Prince (Sojin) has taken over the city. Using the chest, the reformed thief creates armies of men out of nothingness and recaptures the city. He then uses the cloak of invisibility to spirit the princess away on a magic carpet. Fairbanks stole some of the special effects for his film from Fritz Lang's Der Müde Tod, which he had purchased for American distribution. The Thief of Baghdad, with its look of unrealistic beauty (courtesy of art director William Cameron Menzies), was not fully appreciated in its day. Because of its huge cost (two million dollars -- a real fortune in those days), it made little money. After that, Fairbanks stuck closer to the swashbuckling persona he felt his audience wanted. Available now on DVD, the remastered film features a new score by Carl Davis.

The Thief of Bagdad Cast

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Julanne Johnston - 1 Vote
Brandon Hurst - 1 Vote
Scotty Mattraw - 1 Vote
Anna May Wong - 1 Vote
Snitz Edwards - 1 Vote

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The Thief of Bagdad is a 1924 American swashbuckler film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Douglas Fairbanks. Freely adapted from One Thousand and One Nights, it tells the story of a thief who falls in love with the daughter of the Caliph of Bagdad. In 1996, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".



Release Date
18 March 1924
Filming Locations
The Lot - 1041 N. Formosa Avenue, West Hollywood, California, USA
Sound Mix
Film Type
Film Class

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