Thief of Bagdad
1940 film by Ludwig Berger, Alexander Korda, Michael Powell, William Cameron Menzies, Zoltan Korda, Tim Whelan
The Thief of Bagdad is a 1940 film in which, after being tricked and cast out of Bagdad by the evil Jaffar, King Ahmad joins forces with a thief named Abu to reclaim his throne, the city, and the Princess he loves.
- Directed by Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, and Tim Whelan. Written by Lajos Bíró and Miles Malleson.
- [While blind and reduced to begging]
Oh ye whom Allah gave the gift of sight,
To fill your eyes with beauty and delight,
Spare me a thought to whom your wondrous world is but a city of eternal night.
Alms for the love of Allah.
- [to the Princess, who believes he is a spirit living in the palace pond] Very good dijinn are just as tiresome as very good men.
- Mortals are weak and frail. If their stomach speaks, they forget their brains. If their brain speaks, they forget their hearts. And if their hearts speak, hahahahaha, if their hearts speak, they forget everything!
- [to Ahmad] Men are evil, hatred in their eyes, lies on their lips, betrayal in their hearts. You will learn one day, great king, that there are three things that men respect; the lash that descends, the yoke that breaks and the sword that slays. By the power and terror of these you may conquer the Earth.
- [to the Princess, after she attempts to flee to find Ahmad] Forget Ahmad; he's no longer blind. For a man with eyes, the world is full of women. Only I am cursed, that I can see only you.
- [King Ahmad goes among his people incognito and chances upon a story-teller.]
- Story-teller: It is told, though Allah is wiser or more merciful, there was in the past of the ages, a king among kings, a master of arms and of armies, of vassals and auxiliaries. And this master of time and people was an oppressor to both, and the earth was as pitch in the faces of his subjects and his slaves, and they groaned together in secret.
- Ahmad [to a listener]: What's he saying?
- Listener [suspicious]: Why...I don't know.
- Ahmad: Is it the king he's talking about?
- Listener: Don't ask questions. There are spies everywhere. You must be careful in Bagdad.
- Story-teller [continuing]: And they groaned together in secret and were slain in the marketplace. But a wise man among the sated of Bagdad comforted them with a prophecy, saying, in the fullness of years, a liberator shall come upon you. And this shall be the sign of him: He shall be the lowest of the low and you shall look for him in the clouds. And the people cry, we shall look for him in the clouds indeed, for if the great are powerless to save us from this tyrant, how can one of no account avail? And the reader of the Milky Way replied, have faith, trust in Allah, for there, one day in the blue, you shall see a boy, the lowest of the low, mounted upon a cloud. But the cloud shall be as strong as the hills beneath the snow and, from the ranges of the sky, he shall destroy this tyrant with the arrow of justice.
- Another listener: What is the name of the tyrant?
- Various others in the audience: Ahmad. Ahmad. Ahmad.
- Genie: [upon being freed] Free; after two thousand years. Two thousand years ago, King Solomon, Master of all the Dijinn, imprisoned me in that bottle. Ah-hahahahaha! For me, this is the first moment of my new freedom; but for you, hahahaha, for you, this is the last moment of your life.
- Abu: My life?
- Genie: Your life! In a moment, I shall lift my foot and crush you; insect, weevil, worm that you are!
- Abu: But, genie, you can't do this! I fished you out of the sea, I opened your bottle, I let you out. You can't be so ungrateful!
- Genie: Ungrateful? Slaves are not grateful, not for their freedom! Listen, inside that bottle for the first thousand years, I swore I'd enrich the one who freed me with all the riches of the Earth; but in the second thousand years, my imprisoned spirit turned to vengenance on all who lived and were free, and I swore I'd kill the one who freed me, to satisfy that hate!
- Abu: Wait, wait! Before I die, can I- can I ask one question?
- Genie: Ask!
- Abu: How is it that you, big as a mountain, could ever get in that bottle, that I hold in my hand? You weren't ever in it really, were you?
- Genie: Of course I was!
- Abu: You weren't!
- Genie: I was!
- Abu: You were?
- Genie: What? You dare doubt?!
- Abu: If I'm going to die in a moment, I can dare anything; and I say it's impossible!
- Genie: Impossible, you say?
- Abu: I'll never believe it! Nothing can make me.
- Genie: Nothing?
- Abu: Nothing; unless I see it with my own eyes.
- Genie: Then dog of an unbeliever, before you die, you shall see with me, nothing is impossible! You shall see, and believe! [chuckles as he turns to mist and reenters the lamp. Abu quickly runs to reseal it]
- Abu: Now, you great overblown belch!
- Genie: [from inside the lamp] Let me out; let me out!
- Abu: Just because you were big, you thought you could bully.
- Abu: Does the world have a roof?
- Genie: Of course! Supported by seven pillars, and the seven pillars are set on the shoulders of a genie whose strength is beyond thought, and the genie stands on an eagle, and the eagle on a bull, and the bull on a fish, and the fish swims in the sea of eternity.
- Three brave hearts, adventuring in a wonder world!
- One thousand and one sights from the thousand of one nights....
- THE WONDER of the Enchanted Princess. Whoever looks upon her beauty dies---but Ahmad dares to win her favor!
- THE MOST ROMANTIC ROGUE OF ALL TIME!
- Conrad Veidt - Jaffar
- Sabu| - Abu
- June Duprez - the Princess
- John Justin - Ahmad
- Rex Ingram - the Djinn
- Miles Malleson - the Sultan of Basra
- Morton Selten - the Old King
- Mary Morris - Halima, Jaffar's agent, and the "Silver Maid"
- Bruce Winston - the Merchant
- Hay Petrie - the Astrologer
- Adelaide Hall - the Singer
- Roy Emerton - the Jailor
- Allan Jeayes - the Story Teller