Monday, December 4, 2017

The Thief of Baghdad (1978)

Director: Clive Donner

Writers: Andrew Birkin, AJ Carothers

Composer: John Cameron

Starring: Roddy McDowall, Kabir Bedi, Frank Finlay, Marina Vlady, Pavla Ustinov, Daniel Emilfork, Ian Holm, Terence Stamp, Peter Ustinov, Marina Sirtis

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Ride the Magic Carpet into an Arabian Nights wonder-world, re-created in the splendor of magik-motion!

Plot: A resourceful thief helps a handsome Prince fight an evil wizard, and win the hand of a beautiful Princess.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? No.

This is oh so dreadfully boring.  The effects are what you'd expect for late 70s TV and they don't hold up.  It's not their fault, I know, but it's hard to watch.  The cast puts in a good effort but the pacing kills it.  It's an exercise in patience at an hour and forty-two minutes in length.  It feels more than twice that.  The film music nerd that I am, Cameron's score was hard on my ears.  The main theme is so generic that it sounds like it was written by a novice.  To make matters worse, it's repeated ad nauseam whenever there's a need for a heroic action cue.  I couldn't even recommend this to fans of McDowell and Ustinov (both of which I'm a big fan of and the only reason I watched this).  Oddly, co-writer Birkin went on to write some great stuff like THE NAME OF THE ROSE (1986), THE MESSENGER: THE STORY OF JOAN OF ARC (1999) and PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER (2006). 

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