The Thief of Bagdad (1940 film)

The Thief of Bagdad is a 1940 British Technicolor historical fantasy film, produced by Alexander Korda and directed by Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger and Tim Whelan, with additional contributions by William Cameron Menzies and Korda brothers Vincent and Zoltán. The film stars teen actor Sabu, Conrad Veidt, John Justin, and June Duprez. It was released in the US and the UK by United Artists.

The Thief of Bagdad
Directed byMichael Powell
Ludwig Berger
Tim Whelan
Uncredited:
Alexander Korda
Zoltan Korda
William Cameron Menzies
Written byLajos Bíró
Miles Malleson
Produced byAlexander Korda
StarringConrad Veidt
Sabu
John Justin
June Duprez
Rex Ingram
CinematographyGeorge Perinal
Edited byCharles Crichton
Music byMiklós Rózsa
Color processTechnicolor
Production
company
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release dates
  • 5 December 1940 (1940-12-05) (US)
  • 25 December 1940 (1940-12-25) (UK)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Box officeover $1 million (US/Canada)[1]
5,134,653 admissions (France, 1946)[2]

Although produced by Alexander Korda's company London Films in London, the film was completed in California due to the outbreak of World War II.

Georges Périnal, credited as George Perinal, won the Academy Award for Cinematography, Vincent Korda for Art Direction, and Lawrence W. Butler and Jack Whitney for Special Effects[3] (marking the first use of the "manual bluescreen technique"[4]). Miklós Rózsa was also nominated for Original Music Score, a first for a British film at the Academy Awards.[5]

Although this production is a remake of the 1924 version, the two films have differences, the most significant being that the thief and the prince are separate characters in this version. The screenplay is by Lajos Biro and Miles Malleson, who also appears in the film as the Princess's father, the Sultan of Basra.


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