This film began a cycle for Universal Pictures of making all kinds of fantasy
adventures set in the Moslem world. Quite frankly with there being a war on
I'm surprised they splurged for color and for the lush sets that they did. But
they got use out of them as for the next several years these sets got used and
used again in many film. The studio got its money's worth.
Arabian Nights was the first screen teaming of Jon Hall and Maria Montez as she plays the enchanting Scheherazade and he Haroun Al-Raschid the legendary medieval Caliph of Bagdad. Hall is in a bind, he's the victim of a palace coup involving half brother Leif Erickson and the Wazir Edgar Barrier.
Hall seeks refuge in Billy Gilbert's troop of strolling Moslem players which include Montez and acrobat Sabu. Also among the troop are John Qualen as Aladdin who would like to find that magic lamp he lost years ago and Shemp Howard as Sinbad who spins tall tales for the crowd's amusement. As you can see quite a bit of comic relief.
It still a sumptuous looking film for the eye and the action keeps moving. Arabian Nights got four Oscar nominations for sound, music score, color cinematography and art&set design.
If your taste runs to fantasy of this kind Arabian Nights is your movie.
Action / Adventure / Comedy / Romance
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1 hr 26 min