The Adventures of Hajji Baba (1954)

92-93 mins | Adventure | October 1954

Director:

Don Weis

Writer:

Richard Collins

Cinematographer:

Harold Lipstein

Editor:

William Austin

Production Designer:

Gene Allen

Production Company:

Allied Artists Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

According to contemporary news items, independent producer Walter Wanger entered into a four-picture contract with Allied Artists, with the intent that the studio would co-produce and distribute The Adventures of Hajji Baba and three other films. In mid-Apr 1954, however, Allied and Wanger struck a deal with Twentieth Century-Fox to distribute the picture. Although a 6 Apr 1954 HR news item announced that Linda Christian had been signed for a “top role,” she does not appear in the finished film. HR news items included the following actors in the cast, although their appearance in the released picture has not been confirmed: Vicki Mann, Helen Marsh, Mary Ellen Batten, Jean Corbett, Angelina Bauer, Cynthia Blair, Mary Lou Clifford, Joan Corbett, Barbara Drake, Helene Drake, La Rue Farlow, Jean Gooddall, Ruth Johnson, Beverly Jordan , Jeanne Maybery, Joan Patti, Gaye Pope, Colleen Vico, D. W. McGuire, Shirley Douglas and Cosmo Sardo.
       According to HR news items, the picture was partially shot on location at Lone Pine and the Panamint Mountains, CA. Several contemporary sources reported that former Vogue photographer George Hoyningen-Huene and production designer Gene Allen employed a “symbolic” color scheme of five colors to represent and differentiate principal settings and characters. Orange, red and brown for the caravans; green for the Turcoman women’s camp; blue for the bazaar sequences; white for “Princess Fawzia”; and black-against-white for the desert encampment of “Nur-El-Din” were the primary color schemes used, according to Apr and May 1954 Var and LAT news items. The song “Hajji Baba,” written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington and sung by Nat King Cole, is ... More Less

According to contemporary news items, independent producer Walter Wanger entered into a four-picture contract with Allied Artists, with the intent that the studio would co-produce and distribute The Adventures of Hajji Baba and three other films. In mid-Apr 1954, however, Allied and Wanger struck a deal with Twentieth Century-Fox to distribute the picture. Although a 6 Apr 1954 HR news item announced that Linda Christian had been signed for a “top role,” she does not appear in the finished film. HR news items included the following actors in the cast, although their appearance in the released picture has not been confirmed: Vicki Mann, Helen Marsh, Mary Ellen Batten, Jean Corbett, Angelina Bauer, Cynthia Blair, Mary Lou Clifford, Joan Corbett, Barbara Drake, Helene Drake, La Rue Farlow, Jean Gooddall, Ruth Johnson, Beverly Jordan , Jeanne Maybery, Joan Patti, Gaye Pope, Colleen Vico, D. W. McGuire, Shirley Douglas and Cosmo Sardo.
       According to HR news items, the picture was partially shot on location at Lone Pine and the Panamint Mountains, CA. Several contemporary sources reported that former Vogue photographer George Hoyningen-Huene and production designer Gene Allen employed a “symbolic” color scheme of five colors to represent and differentiate principal settings and characters. Orange, red and brown for the caravans; green for the Turcoman women’s camp; blue for the bazaar sequences; white for “Princess Fawzia”; and black-against-white for the desert encampment of “Nur-El-Din” were the primary color schemes used, according to Apr and May 1954 Var and LAT news items. The song “Hajji Baba,” written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington and sung by Nat King Cole, is heard during the opening credits and intermittently throughout the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 Oct 1954.
---
Daily Variety
7 Oct 54
p. 3.
Film Daily
8 Oct 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 1953
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 1954
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Apr 1954
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 1954
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Apr 1954
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 1954
p. 1, 5.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Apr 1954
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 1954
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 1954
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 1954
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 1954
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 May 1954
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 1954
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 1954
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 54
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
11 Nov 1952.
---
Los Angeles Times
9 May 1954.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Oct 1954.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Oct 54
p. 177.
New York Times
9 Oct 54
p. 8.
Newsweek
8 Nov 1954.
---
Pix
8 Jan 1955.
---
Time
1 Nov 1954.
---
Variety
21 Apr 1954.
---
Variety
13 Oct 54
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Walter Wanger Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
Dial dir
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Spec col consultant
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus wrt and dir
SOUND
Sd ed
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Unit mgr
Set cont
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan by James Morier (London, 1824).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Hajji Baba," music by Dimitri Tiomkin, lyrics by Ned Washington, orchestral arrangement by Nelson Riddle, sung by Nat "King" Cole (A Capitol Recording Artist).
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1954
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 7 October 1954
New York opening: 8 October 1954
Production Date:
15 April--11 May 1954
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
7 October 1954
Copyright Number:
LP4233
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
92-93
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17119
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In ancient Persia, barber Hajji Baba tires of his sedentary life and decides to leave his home town of Ispahan to seek adventure and fortune. Merchant Osman Aga bets another trader that the handsome Hajji will become a success within six months, while in the palace, Princess Fawzia greets her father, the caliph of Ispahan. The caliph is infuriated by his headstrong daughter’s insistence on marrying Prince Nur-El-Din, who has a reputation as a cruel womanizer. When her father informs her that she will instead marry his ally in Basra, Fawzia disguises herself as a boy and slips out of the palace to a nearby stream, where she is to meet one of Nur-El-Din’s warriors. Unknown to the princess, Hajji, passing by and intrigued by the warrior’s warning that he is there to pick up a valuable treasure, has bested the warrior in a fight and taken the prince’s seal. Assuming that Nur-El-Din has sent a warrior disguised as a barber to accompany her to his home in Meshed, Fawzia asserts that her emerald ring is the treasure the prince is seeking, but when her turban unravels, Hajji realizes who she is and that she is Nur-El-Din’s treasure. As her father’s soldiers approach, Fawzia offers Hajji the emerald to take her to Meshed. The couple gallop off through the desert, and when they stop to rest, Hajji, more interested in escaping the caliph than in romance, resists the curious princess’ attempt to kiss him. The couple then overtake Osman’s caravan, and Hajji introduces Fawzia, again dressed as a boy, as his apprentice. Osman intends to sell goods at the wedding of Fawzia and Nur-El-Din, and shows Hajji a ... +


In ancient Persia, barber Hajji Baba tires of his sedentary life and decides to leave his home town of Ispahan to seek adventure and fortune. Merchant Osman Aga bets another trader that the handsome Hajji will become a success within six months, while in the palace, Princess Fawzia greets her father, the caliph of Ispahan. The caliph is infuriated by his headstrong daughter’s insistence on marrying Prince Nur-El-Din, who has a reputation as a cruel womanizer. When her father informs her that she will instead marry his ally in Basra, Fawzia disguises herself as a boy and slips out of the palace to a nearby stream, where she is to meet one of Nur-El-Din’s warriors. Unknown to the princess, Hajji, passing by and intrigued by the warrior’s warning that he is there to pick up a valuable treasure, has bested the warrior in a fight and taken the prince’s seal. Assuming that Nur-El-Din has sent a warrior disguised as a barber to accompany her to his home in Meshed, Fawzia asserts that her emerald ring is the treasure the prince is seeking, but when her turban unravels, Hajji realizes who she is and that she is Nur-El-Din’s treasure. As her father’s soldiers approach, Fawzia offers Hajji the emerald to take her to Meshed. The couple gallop off through the desert, and when they stop to rest, Hajji, more interested in escaping the caliph than in romance, resists the curious princess’ attempt to kiss him. The couple then overtake Osman’s caravan, and Hajji introduces Fawzia, again dressed as a boy, as his apprentice. Osman intends to sell goods at the wedding of Fawzia and Nur-El-Din, and shows Hajji a beautiful slave girl, the dancer Ayesha, whom he hopes will interest the fickle prince. Fawzia grows jealous of Hajji’s delight in Ayesha and is angered to hear the men gossiping that the princess is spoiled and tempermental. Later that night, Nur-El-Din’s warrior, who has followed Hajji, fights with him to regain the princess, but during their struggle, she is apprehended by one of her father’s men. Hajji temporarily rescues Fawzia and squabbles with her again about love, but they are captured by the caliph’s soldiers and marched through the great pass on the way to Basra. Occupying the pass, however, are the legendary Turcoman warriors, former harem slaves who have escaped and become thieves. The women capture both the soldiers and Osman’s caravan, and the women’s leader, the strong-willed Banah, decides to keep Hajji as her consort. Later, Fawzia’s identity is revealed, and Fabria, one of Banah’s compatriots and Fawzia’s former slave, repays her ex-mistress’ cruelties by tying her arms to a pole and hoisting her into the air. That night, Hajji sneaks out of Banah’s tent to rescue Fawzia, but they are caught and strung up to die together. A group of the women are then attacked by Nur-El-Din’s men, and Banah leads her troops to avenge them. Left alone, Fawzia apologizes to Hajji for her selfish behavior, and the couple declare their love for each other. In the desert, the Turcomans are captured by Nur-El-Din, and when he sees Banah wearing Fawzia’s emerald ring, he demands to know where she got it. Ayesha, hoping to earn the prince’s favor, tells him that Fawzia is at the Turcoman camp, and Nur-El-Din’s men rescue her and Hajji. When they are brought before Nur-El-Din, Fawzia prompts Hajji to tell him that they are in love, but after Hajji sees the jealous prince execute a man who stole one of his harem girls, he states that he was merely bringing Fawzia to him in exchange for the emerald. Crushed, Fawzia goes with Nur-El-Din, who sends two of his men back to execute Hajji and retrieve the gem. Hajji kills the men, and before sending their corpses to Nur-El-Din’s camp, shaves their heads as a message to Fawzia that he is still true to her. Back in Ispahan, Osman praises Hajji’s new status as a wealthy merchant, due to the sale of the emerald, but Hajji admits that he is unhappy because he does not have Fawzia. In the desert, Fawzia interrupts a romantic encounter between Nur-El-Din and Ayesha and declares that she will not marry the prince. Angered, Nur-El-Din reveals that he needs control of Ispahan to succeed in his plan to conquer Persia. In the city, the caliph sends for Hajji and reveals that Fawzia has informed him of Nur-El-Din’s plans. Knowing that Hajji loves Fawzia, the caliph begs him to save her and states that sometimes one man can do what an army cannot. The determined Hajji then travels with Osman’s caravan to Nur-El-Din’s camp, where, disguised as a holy man, he approaches Ayesha. Telling the dancer that if Fawzia is gone she will be able to become Nur-El-Din’s bride, Hajji persuades her to slip the guards some drugged wine. Meanwhile, Fawzia has snuck away and, dressed as Hajji’s apprentice, asks Osman to take her to Ispahan. Osman reunites Fawzia with Hajji, who tells her of his plan to free the Turcomans in order to distract Nur-El-Din from her escape. After Ayesha gives the guards the wine, the women are freed and begin to battle Nur-El-Din’s men. The prince notices that Fawzia is missing, however, and pursues her and Hajji. Hajji defeats his enemy with a thrust of his sword, and soon the triumphant Banah wishes them well. Later, after Hajji and Fawzia have married, Osman collects his wager about Hajji’s success, and the new prince retires to his bed chamber with his princess. +

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

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