Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Siren of Bagdad (1953)
Writer: Robert E. Kent
Composer: John Leipold
Starring: Paul Henreid, Patricia Medina, Hans Conried, Charles Lung, Laurette Luez, Anne Dore, George Keymas, Michael Fox, Karl 'Killer' Davis, Carl Milletaire
More info: IMDb
Tagline: Very, Very Gay! When the Sultan's Away, and the Royal Magician Starts to Play...in the Harem!
Plot: Kazah the Great (Henreid), a magician heads a troupe of girls and acrobats traveling in Arabia. The girls are stolen by Sultan El Malid (Lung), and Kazak joins forces with Zendi (Medina), the daughter of the rightful sultan that was deposed by Malidi to get the girls back and rid Bagdad of the evil Malid.
My rating: 6.5/10
Will I watch it again? No.
Well this was a lot more fun that I expected. I've never seen Paul Henreid in a comedy and boy is he having fun in this one! The film works partly because the actors are having a blast. What's more is you've got a lot of jokes that land. I laughed more than I thought I would, as in laughed out loud. As is standard for even a big studio B picture, the costumes and set design are colorful and fun. After seeing this flick I can see why there has been civil unrest in the Middle East for thousands of years...the chicks are smokin'!!!
The gal in the red in the last picture isn't even credited. Kazah (Henreid) puts Ben Ali (Conried) into the magic box and transforms him into this hottie but she still has Ben Ali's voice. The IMDb trivia says her name is Vivian Mason. She's fucking hilarious. She jumps into the middle of the dancers and tries her best to fit in but she's as clumsy as Ben Ali would be if he were still in male form. She's brilliant in the few minutes she's on screen. A short 73 minutes is all you get with this one and that's all you need. I wish more movies knew when to quit when they should. I recorded this off of TCM many years ago and finally got around to it. This is one of those pictures that would be great on a rainy, quiet afternoon or back in '53 with a double feature, Warner Bros. cartoon, a Three Stooges short and a chapter from the latest serial (even though serials were a dying breed at this point).