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Adventure , Musical

1949 | FULLSCREEN | COLOR | Quality: Excellent

Maureen O'Hara

Vincent Price

Paul Christian


Universal enjoyed a long string of successes using the same the same exotic formula they struck gold with in 1942's Arabian Nights, but after their main female attraction (Maria Montez) started to wane, they called on fiery, red-headed Irish beauty Maureen O'Hara – who in 1947 had already appeared with Douglas Fairbanks in RKO's Sinbad the Sailor – to fill in her shoes in Bagdad and, later on, Flame of Araby. The meandering plot-line consists of English-educated Arab princess O'Hara returning home and seeking revenge on the leader of the "Black Robes" for causing her father's death in a battle against a confusing number of rival Arab tribes! The plot is sometimes hard to follow and is nothing special, but this is made up for by O'Hara and Vincent Price peppering their performances with just the right amount of pure entertaining camp! O'Hara makes for a fetching heroine in her Technicolored exotic attire (including one in which she seems to have a drape attached to her head gear!) and, despite her royal heritage, she even gets to belt out 3 operatic songs in a tavern and impersonate a gypsy dancer out in the desert! Vincent Price shows off his underappreciated character-acting talents playing the villainous Pasha who slaps everyone around while scheming and generally just being a sleazeball. Paul Christian (aka Paul Hubschmid of Fritz Lang's famed "Indian Epic" Diptych), is another Arab 'misfit' prince with a chameleon-like personality who must use all his talents to remain alive. John Sutton plays yet another Arab chieftain consumed with greed and ambition, and renowned character actor Jeff Corey is O'Hara's ill-tempered associate. Good lightweight, nostalgic fun!

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