Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Guilty Pleasure - Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is this Arabian Nights movie from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Starring Jon Hall, Maria Montez, Andy Hall, Conrad Veidt, and Tuhran Bey, it is an wonderful, action-packed romance. The story is well-known, but Hollywood added its own twist, making the thieves honorable after meeting the young, orphaned son of the Caliph (brutally betrayed by his prime minister and then murdered Hulagu Khan). Years pass, and Ali is an adult, leading the thieves who are now a band of rebels in grand Robin Hood-style defiance.

Maria Montez is Amara, Ali's childhood sweetheart and the daughter of the vile betraying prime minister. Now, as a beautiful adult, she has been promised to Hulagu Khan. Ali does not know that the gorgeous fiancee of the Khan is the girl he once played with.

Turhan Bey is her faithful servant who worships Ali Baba and helps free him from the Khan's clutches. Of course, in the end, the evil Khan is defeated, and Ali and Amara are reunited to rule Baghdad.

I just love the sets, the costumes, and the so Alpha maleness of these leading men. And I really giggle at the wonderful rousing men's chorus that was prevalent in swashbucklers at this time. From Errol Flynn pirate movies to Jon Hall desert dramas, there's almost always a scene where the group of men are rowing the boat or riding through the desert all singing in beautiful 3 or 4 part harmony some song that you cannot understand the words to. But it's obviously a morale raiser.

It's a shame that movies like this are rarely made anymore. That's why I love the remakes of the Mummy and new films like Pirates of the Caribbean - they are modern versions of these fun films.


Michele said...

Oh what fun!
I love shows like that...there was one like that with Tab Hunter years ago.
I enjoyed Ray Harryhausens stop motion animation in many of my fav's, Jason and the Argonauts, Jason and the golden fleece...shows like that. Of course, I once thought Patrick Wayne hung the moon...I think he was better looking than his dad.
Remember Ron Ely?? He was hunky there for awhile...loved his loin cloth.

Kelli McBride said...

Patrick Wayne in THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT and in THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (was is the 7th?). Anyway, I loved him!! And he was so cute in McClintock! and Big Jake.

I used to love watching Tarzan with Ron Ely on Saturday mornings, though I now prefer the Joe Lara Tarzan series that was on in the 80s better.

Michele said...

You know, you're again, the only person who remembers Ron playing Tarzan. This is so COOL!!!

Yup, it was the 7th voyage.

Never saw the 80's Tarzan. Didn't know there was one. Of course, being newly married in the 80's I was a bit preoccupied with my own jungle man *giggle*

How about Harry Hamlin in Clash of the Titans? Campy show to be sure, but he sure was hot. Of course, when he ended up on prime time TV, I never watched him!
Go figure..... must have been the lure of the toga.

I can't wait to see what you'll post next.