Director Walter Forde and writer Edward Knoblock’s 1934 film adaptation of a highly successful British stage musical is neither cinematic nor tuneful, though it has some period interest as an example of orientalism run amok. The plot is basically Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, with George Robey as Ali Baba and Anna May Wong (on loan from Hollywood) as a scheming slave; more enjoyable than either are Fritz Kortner mugging up a storm as Abu Hasan and some campy scenes with dancing girlsthe only points at which the film breaks out of operetta mode into something looser. Otherwise, Forde’s compositions are cluttered and stagy. 103 min. (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.