The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

Fantasy | March 1924

Full page view
HISTORY

The 19 May 1923 Motion Picture News indicated that Evelyn Brent was initially cast in the leading female role that was later assumed by Julanne Johnston. According to the 7 Jul 1923 Moving Picture World, producer and star Douglas Fairbanks selected mostly unknown actors for the remainder of the cast, believing that well-established star personas would interfere with the audience’s regard for the fantastical settings.
       The 8 Jul 1923 FD reported the start of principal photography. To accommodate the production, Fairbanks purchased several acres of land behind the Pickford-Fairbanks Studios in West Hollywood, CA, which he co-owned with his wife, actress Mary Pickford, as stated in the 4 May 1923 FD. According to a 7 Jul 1923 Exhibitors Trade Review, 700,000 feet of lumber were used to build the lavish sets. Although several contemporary sources suggested the picture was originally scheduled for a winter 1923 release, filming continued well into the new year due to the intricacies of the production design, which the 28 Jul 1923 Exhibitors Trade Review claimed to include the “latest innovations in the art of photography.” A Feb 1924 AmCin item announced the imminent completion of production, after more than thirty-two weeks. A 13 Nov 1923 FD article listed a budget of nearly $2 million.
       The New York City premiere took place 18 Mar 1924 at the Liberty Theatre. Although released with only twelve reels, film was copyrighted at fourteen reels, or 12,933 feet.
       In Dec 1924, AmCin published an obituary for Latham Moore, who reportedly assisted director of photography Arthur Edeson during production.
       It was voted ...

More Less

The 19 May 1923 Motion Picture News indicated that Evelyn Brent was initially cast in the leading female role that was later assumed by Julanne Johnston. According to the 7 Jul 1923 Moving Picture World, producer and star Douglas Fairbanks selected mostly unknown actors for the remainder of the cast, believing that well-established star personas would interfere with the audience’s regard for the fantastical settings.
       The 8 Jul 1923 FD reported the start of principal photography. To accommodate the production, Fairbanks purchased several acres of land behind the Pickford-Fairbanks Studios in West Hollywood, CA, which he co-owned with his wife, actress Mary Pickford, as stated in the 4 May 1923 FD. According to a 7 Jul 1923 Exhibitors Trade Review, 700,000 feet of lumber were used to build the lavish sets. Although several contemporary sources suggested the picture was originally scheduled for a winter 1923 release, filming continued well into the new year due to the intricacies of the production design, which the 28 Jul 1923 Exhibitors Trade Review claimed to include the “latest innovations in the art of photography.” A Feb 1924 AmCin item announced the imminent completion of production, after more than thirty-two weeks. A 13 Nov 1923 FD article listed a budget of nearly $2 million.
       The New York City premiere took place 18 Mar 1924 at the Liberty Theatre. Although released with only twelve reels, film was copyrighted at fourteen reels, or 12,933 feet.
       In Dec 1924, AmCin published an obituary for Latham Moore, who reportedly assisted director of photography Arthur Edeson during production.
       It was voted one of the “Top Best Features” of 1924 by the 1929 Film Daily Year Book, as reported in the Feb 7, 1930 FD. The Jun 1924 The Educational Screen also listed The Thief of Bagdad as one of “The Ten Best [Films] for 1924-25.”
       Another film based on the tale was the 1940 United Artists release of the same title, produced by Alexander Korda, directed by Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell and Tim Whelan and starring Conrad Veidt and Sabu (see entry).

Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Feb 1924
p. 26
American Cinematographer
Dec 1924
p. 12
Exhibitors Trade Review
7 Jul 1923
p. 240
Exhibitors Trade Review
28 Jul 1923
p. 379
Film Daily
4 May 1923
---
Film Daily
8 Jul 1923
p. 3
Film Daily
13 Nov 1923
---
Film Daily
30 Sep 1923
p. 18
Film Daily
7 Feb 1930
p. 8
Motion Picture News
19 May 1923
p. 2408
Moving Picture World
7 Jul 1923
p. 94
New York Times
19 Mar 1924
p. 19
Photoplay
May 1924
p. 54
The Educational Screen
Jun 1925
p. 358
Variety
26 Mar 1924
p. 26
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
WRITERS
Story
Scenario ed
PHOTOGRAPHY
Chief cine
Asst cam
Asst cam
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Tech dir
Consulting art dir
Assoc artist
Assoc artist
Assoc artist
Assoc artist
Assoc artist
Assoc artist
Assoc artist
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost dir
Master of ward
MUSIC
Mus comp
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Theodore Reed
Prod mgr
Dir mechanical eff
Consultant
Research dir
Technician
Technician
Technician
Technician
DETAILS
Release Date:
March 1924
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 18 Mar 1924
Production Date:
early Jul 1923--Feb 1924
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Douglas Fairbanks Pictures
23 March 1924
LP20112
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
11,230
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Until he encounters the Princess, the Thief of Bagdad flouts religious teachings. Pretending to be a prince, he wins her love. After suffering humility and confessing the truth to the Holy Man, he is sent on a quest for a magic chest to earn his happiness. Overcoming tremendous obstacles, he wins the reward and rescues Bagdad and the Princess from the ...

More Less

Until he encounters the Princess, the Thief of Bagdad flouts religious teachings. Pretending to be a prince, he wins her love. After suffering humility and confessing the truth to the Holy Man, he is sent on a quest for a magic chest to earn his happiness. Overcoming tremendous obstacles, he wins the reward and rescues Bagdad and the Princess from the Mongols.

Less

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Arabian


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

The Great Dictator

The working title of this picture was The Dictator . In the cast credits at the end of the film, Charles Chaplin is listed in both the "People ... >>

Psycho

Actor Vaughn Taylor's surname is misspelled "Tayler" in the onscreen credits. Several Jun and Jul 1959 HR news items erroneously refer to the film as Psyche. ... >>

All Quiet on the Western Front

The opening title card reads: "Carl Laemmle presents All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque ." After the opening credits, the following written prologue ... >>

The Dark Past

The film's working titles were Hearsay and Blind Alley . The opening scenes of the film were shot using a subjective camera technique and shown from ... >>

All About Eve

The working title of this film was Best Performance. In the onscreen credits, the character of the director is called "Bill Simpson," but he is referred to ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.