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Friday, January 21, 2011

Prince Who Was A Thief (1951)

An assassin (Everett Sloane) hired to kill a royal infant in order for his uncle to usurp the throne has second thoughts and raises the child as his own. The boy (Tony Curtis) grows up to be a master thief and plans his biggest robbery yet ..... the royal treasury! This Technicolor Arabian nights fantasy is pure hokum but one would have to be quite the movie snob to resist its Saturday matinee innocence that draws out the eight year old in you. This is the film that made Curtis a star and though he's as handsome as Valentino, his acting skills are anemic to say the least but he can scale walls and jump from parapets very nicely. Contrary to urban legend, Curtis does not say, "Yonder lies da castle of my fodder"! The young Piper Laurie doesn't have much to do as a street rat with the ability to contort her body which enables her to get in and out of tight spots. Directed by Rudolph Mate (D.O.A.), based on a story by Theodore Dreiser no less and with Irving Glassberg (BEND OF THE RIVER) whose cinematography attempts to turn the Universal backlot into old Bagdad. With Betty Garde, Jeff Corey, Peggie Castle as the duplicitous Princess Yasmin, Marvin Miller and Hayden Rorke.

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