The Thief of Baghdad  [DVD]Roddy McDowall (actor)
Kabir Bedi (actor)
Format: all-region dvd (worldwide)
Quality: Excellent, 4:3, colour.
This is a made for TV version of the classic tale, probably the third or fourth remake. If you enjoyed 60s and 70s sci-fi and fantasy tales of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts then this will definitely be of interest. The supporting cast is impressive: Peter Ustinov, Ian Holm, Frank Finlay and Terence Stamp.
There are plenty of washed out versions of this on various websites, check for yourself what has been up loaded to YT. What we have here is a superb transfer from a mint condition Video Gems release.
Top imdb review:
When I was a kid, I regarded this version as in about the same league as The Sinbad Trilogy, with its exquisite Arabian locales and flashy costumes. Roddy McDowall and Kabir Bedi have good buddy-chemistry with Bedi as an expatriate Prince and McDowell as his comedic thief companion. Although sometimes silly in terms of special effects and production values, this is a story genuinely well-told. I'd
not call it a classic, but it is a great deal better than most other TV movies you'll run into. Just look at the cast with lots of great roles by those you wouldn't expect, with Ian Holm, Peter Ustinov, and Terence Stamp in unforgettable roles. Stamp especially channels the same intensity in his Zod role as the emotionless and seemingly indestructible villain. Ustinov plays campily as the comic relief (an honor he shares with Roddy) Kalif of Baghdad, and Marina Vlady is at her stunning best and outshines the bland love-interest princess in every scene. Even future Star Trek babe Marina Sirtis (Councellor Troi) has her debut here as a busty harem girl with maybe 1 or 2 short lines. Perhaps the best aspect besides the wonderfully addictive orchestral musical score, has to be the weird and trippy atmosphere inside the evil cave that Prince Taj has to explore to find the diamond. This whole sequence is definitely the strongest point of the film and is one of the best scare-sequences I've
seen. Lots of creepy blue lighting, evil whispering sounds, hallucinations, etc. VERY 70's! This, coupled with the extremely weird-looking giant green genie, make this a movie that you just can't miss if you're into escapist fantasy. ~ Aylmer