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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Arabian Nights (1942)

Set in Persia, the brother (Leif Erickson) of the Caliph (Jon Hall) attempts to take over the throne by revolt. During one battle, the Caliph is left for dead while his brother usurps the throne. But a beautiful dancing girl (Maria Montez) nurses him back to health. Directed by John Rawlins (SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE VOICE OF TERROR). What can one say about a piece of mindless Technicolor fantasy like this? It's nowhere near the caliber of genuine classics like THE THIEF OF BAGAD (1940) or 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958). But it's harmless fun and the three strip Technicolor pops off the screen and the art direction by Alexander Golitzen and Jack Otterson is impressive. Less impressive are the gaudy costumes by Vera West which detracts from Montez's beauty. Thankfully it's not the kind of movie where acting matters because Montez is pretty awful and during her big dance number, it's clearly a dance double doing all the bumping and grinding. But she's gorgeous and that's all the part requires of her. There is a bit of tiresome comedy courtesy of Billy Gilbert and John Qualen (as Aladdin) but overall, a pleasing slice of kitsch. With Sabu, Turhan Bey, Edgar Barrier, Thomas Gomez, Jeni Le Gon, Robin Raymond and Shemp Howard as Sinbad 

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