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April 8—15, 2024

Warsaw

Double Feature: The Thief of Bagdad (1924) x The Thief of Bagdad (1940)


The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

A silent blockbuster loosely inspired by the One Thousand and One Nights folktales. Douglas Fairbanks, the biggest star of adventure films at the time, plays Ahmed, a thief who’s living large in Baghdad. His picaresque life changes when he falls in love with a calif’s daughter and becomes entangled in an international palatine affair. The movie was directed by a valued Hollywood professional Raoul Walsh, but The Thief of Bagdad is considered mostly an original Fairbanks project.

Even though the film turns 100 this year, it’s scale and grandeur are still surprising today. The city which combines Middle Eastern influences with the popular art déco trend, thousands of extras, special effects such as flying carpets and magical ropes as well as flamboyant costumes, all make up a visionary spectacle. In a supporting role we can admire Anna May Wong, Hollywood’s first Chinese American star. The film will be shown along with an orchestrated soundtrack composed by Carl Davis and inspired by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade.

Sebastian Smoliński

Raoul Walsh (1887–1980) was one of the most unpretentious and proficient directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age, with a career spanning practically the entire studio era. He started out as an assistant director to D. W. Griffith in 1912 and made his last film, A Distant Trumpet, in 1964. His other films include The Roaring Twenties (1939), High Sierra (1941) and White Heat (1949).

2K reconstruction made in 2012 by the Cohen Film Collection.

media partner

DATE

April 10, 2024

TIME

1:00 PM

VENUE

Kino Iluzjon Mała Czarna

COPY / OTHERS

DATE

April 13, 2024

TIME

10:00 AM

VENUE

Kino Atlantic D

COPY / OTHERS

ENGLISH TITLE

The Thief of Bagdad

ORIGINAL TITLE

The Thief of Bagdad

LANGUAGE

English intertitles

SUBTITLES

Polish

SECTION

Silent Delight

DIRECTOR

Raoul Walsh

DURATION

149 min

YEAR

1924

COUNTRY

USA

SALES

Park Circus

TRIGGER WARNING

???

PRODUCER

Douglas Fairbanks

PRODUCTION

Douglas Fairbanks Pictures

CAST

Douglas Fairbanks, Snitz Edwards, Charles Belcher, Julanne Johnston, Anna May Wong

SCREENPLAY

Lotta Woods

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Arthur Edeson (black&white)

EDITING

William Nolan

SCORE

Carl Davis

COSTUME DESIGN

Mitchell Leisen

ART DIRECTION

William Cameron Menzies

DECADE

1920s

AWARDS

AFI’s 10 Top 10 (10 best films in 10 film genres)

EDITION

The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

A remake of the 1924 Douglas Fairbanks-starring film (also in the festival’s program!), but also a completely new Technicolor fantasy which captured the imagination of generations of viewers. Betrayed by a magician (Conrad Veidt), the young king of Baghdad (John Justin) with the help of a thief (Sabu) attempts to regain his throne – but before that can happen the protagonists face a series of dangerous adventures.

The Thief of Bagdad, produced by Hungarian-born Alexander Korda, is a daring fantasy based on Arabian motifs, and a classic family film. You can find echoes of this version both in George Lucas’ Star Wars and Disney’s Aladdin, but Korda’s work, filled with trick photography and special effects, invited the war-weary audience on a magic carpet ride: it offered an experience of lightness and admiration for the world, an escapist journey beyond the boundaries of reality.

Sebastian Smoliński

organized in collaboration with

media partner

DATE

April 9, 2024

TIME

4:00 PM

VENUE

Kino Muranów Zbyszek

COPY / OTHERS

DATE

April 13, 2024

TIME

12:45 PM

VENUE

Kino Iluzjon Stolica

COPY / OTHERS

ENGLISH TITLE

The Thief of Bagdad

ORIGINAL TITLE

The Thief of Bagdad

LANGUAGE

English

SUBTITLES

Polish

SECTION

Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger: The Colour Whisperers

DIRECTOR

Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, Tim Whelan

DURATION

106 min

YEAR

1940

COUNTRY

United Kingdom

SALES

Park Circus

TRIGGER WARNING

???

PRODUCER

Alexander Korda

PRODUCTION

Alexander Korda Films, London Film Productions

CAST

Conrad Veidt, Sabu, John Justin, June Duprez, Rex Ingram

SCREENPLAY

Miles Malleson, Lajos Biró, Miklós Rózsa

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Georges Périnal (colour)

EDITING

Charles Crichton

SCORE

Miklós Rózsa

COSTUME DESIGN

John Armstrong, Oliver Messel, Marcel Vertès

ART DIRECTION

Vincent Korda

DECADE

1940s

AWARDS

Academy Awards for cinematography (Georges Périnal) and art direction (Vincent Korda)

EDITION