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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Adventures Of Hajji Baba (1954)

A young Persian barber's apprentice (John Derek) finds himself in the position of escorting an ill tempered and haughty Princess (Elaine Stewart) to her wedding against her father's wishes. But it will be a journey fraught with peril. Based on the 1824 novel by James Justinian Morier and directed by Don Weis (LOOKING FOR LOVE). This piece of Arabian Nights hokum is corny as they come but wonderfully entertaining, cliches and all. It's not all that different than those sword and sandal fantasies Universal was churning out with Maria Montez in the 1940s or Tony Curtis in the 1950s but for the first time, in CinemaScope and stereophonic sound!  George Hoyningen Huene is the color consultant, Renie did the costumes, Dimitri Tiomkin did the underscore and Harold Lipstein (DAMN YANKEES) did the lensing although the exterior shots of old Persia look suspiciously like Southern California. The film is unusual in having a renegade band of ex-slave girls who rob merchants and slave traders (and freeing their slaves). The title song by Nat King Cole, once heard, will be hard to get out of your head. With Amanda Blake, Thomas Gomez, Rosemarie Bowe (later Mrs. Robert Stack), Paul Picerni and Claude Akins. 

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