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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Arabian Adventure (1979)

A wicked caliph (Christopher Lee) must obtain a rare rose in order to completely eradicate good from the land and dominate the country with absolute power. But the rose can only be plucked by the pure of heart, which leaves him out. To this end, he sends a young prince (Oliver Tobias) on a quest for the rose with the promise of his ward, the Princess Zuleira (Emma Samms, TV's Dynasty), as his bride. The film's title says it all. It's an Arabian nights fantasy pastiche with a little THIEF OF BAGDAD (the adorable Puneet Sira subbing for Sabu) mixed in with a dash of Greek mythology, principally Jason's quest for the golden fleece. All derivative. There's the genie in the bottle, the flying magic carpet, peach pits that turn into sapphires etc., all the elements of an Arabian Nights fantasy but very little genuine magic. The special effects are about on a par with a Japanese creature feature movie. Still, the kiddies may enjoy it in a Saturday matinee kind of way. With Mickey Rooney as the keeper of the rose, Capucine as the genie of the sapphire, Peter Cushing as a political prisoner and Milo O'Shea as Lee's evil henchman.

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