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A Thousand And One Nights.avi
A Thousand and One Nights (1945)
On the run after being found sweet-talking the Sultan's daughter, Aladdin comes upon a lamp which, when rubbed, summons up Babs the genie. He uses it to return as a visiting prince asking for the princess's hand. Unfortunately for him, the sultan's wicked twin brother has secretly usurped the throne, someone else is after the lamp for his own ends, and Babs has taken a shine to Aladdin herself and is bent on wrecking his endeavours.
Evelyn Keyes ... The Genie
Phil Silvers ... Abdullah
Adele Jergens ... Princess Armina
Cornel Wilde ... Aladdin
Dusty Anderson ... Novira
Dennis Hoey ... Sultan Kamar Al-Kir
Philip Van Zandt ... Grand Wazir AbuHassan
Gus Schilling ... Jafar
Nestor Paiva ... Kahim
Rex Ingram ... Giant
Richard Hale ... Kofir
John Abbott ... Ali
Director: Alfred E. Green
Runtime: 93 min
This is the sort of silly adventure film that, unfortunately, they just don't make any more. And to top it off, the film's sense of humor and fun is so pronounced that it's hard not to like the movie. In many ways, the film is the obvious inspiration for Disney's ALADDIN as well as inspired by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby's "Road Films". An apt title for the film might have been "Road to Arabia".
So how can I say it's like a Road Film? Well, even though the actors and studio are different, the chemistry and dialog is identical. Phil Silvers plays a part highly reminiscent of Bob Hope, as he plays a snappy-talking anachronistic 1940s jive-talker set in the 9th century. He was simply wonderful in this role--probably the best film part he ever did. Cornell Wilde is much like a more handsome version of Bing Crosby because he very ably croons throughout the film and is the one who eventually gets the girl. The chemistry and plot outline is pure "Road"--such as ROAD TO MOROCCO or any of the other Hope-Crosby films except it's a better--probably due to better writing and production values.
So how is it like ALADDIN? Well, Cornell Wilde actually plays Aladdin and much of the story is what is later replicated in the Disney film--the evil sorcerer Jafar and the plot to steal the throne and the romance between a princess and a poor young man are all there. And, in many ways, Phil Silvers is the sidekick who was later replaced by the monkey, Abu! And, finally, the genie is the fast-talking and smart-allecky character it was in the later film except it is played by a lady (Evelyn Keyes) and she, too, is in love with Aladdin. I absolutely loved Miss Keyes in the film (more than I liked Robin Williams as the genie) and really couldn't understand why Cornell didn't pick her instead of the lovely princess (Adele Jergens).
The bottom line is this movie is just lots and lots of fun. Plus, the humorous and anachronistic lines were actually funny and made me chuckle. This is a must-see for fans of adventure films and I'm glad I saw it. I could easily have scored the movie a 9--it was that good.
By the way, the dual roles of the Sultan and his evil twin were played by Dennis Hoey. He's the same guy who played the recurring role of Inspector Lestrade in the Sherlock Holmes series of the 1940s and it was nice to see him in a different sort of role.