The Thief of Baghdad
Prince Taj of Sakkar soon after mysterious death of his father, is persuaded to compete for the hand of Princess Yasmine of Baghdad. He is ambushed by agents of his own Wazir. His royal seal is stolen and an innocent man is murdered in his place. Arriving in Baghdad, dressed in rags and hungry, he befriends Hasani, magician and thief. Stealing suitable robes, Taj and Hasani present themselves to the Caliph, where he makes an immediate impression on Yasmine. But Wazir Jaudur arrives on a flying carpet, to join the suitors. Jaudur, bearing Taj's royal seal, claims to be king, and that Prince Taj has been murdered, and accuses Taj of being a murderer and an impostor. Taj challenges Jaudur to a duel, which he loses, only because Judur is protected from injury because his soul is hidden at a secret location, making him immortal. The Caliph, wanting to believe Taj, but bound by custom is forced to accept Jaudur's claim, unti Perizidah reminds him of a prophecy given at Yasmine's birth that her wedding would bring great wealth. Using this as an excuse to stall for time until a solution presents itself, the Caliph sends all the suitors on a quest "to find that object in all the world that has the most value." and return in three moons. Hasani, convinced of Taj's sincerity because of Jaudur's repeated murder attempts, Joins him on the quest.Perizidah, acting on Yasmine's behalf, (and attracted to Hasani) guides them to a place where they can overhear Jaudur force information from traveling holy man Abu Bakare. They learn of the existence of an all seeing eye that will help Taj defeat Jaudur. Stealing Jaudur's flying carpet, the voyage has a false start when Taj commands "Take me to where my heart would go." The carpet doesn't leave Yasmine's side. Hasani commands "Carpet, take us where I would go." And the carpet takes them to the temple of the all seeing eye. At the temple, the gatekeeper warns of the dangers. He must not allow anything he sees lure him from the path or he will be turned to stone. Taj resists tormenting about his parentage, and a man being devoured by a serpent. He nearly surcombs to a fire trap, but sees a statue of someone who failed before. Within sight of the temple, Taj is lured away by an image of Yasmine and is turned to stone. Hasani reluctantly follows with the gatekeeper telling him "May your knowledge of lies lead you straight as an arrow to the truth." Hasani resists the insulting chants with more humor than Taj, and his fear serves him well when he sees the serpent illusion. He is nearly turned aside by chests of treasure, but the sight of Taj as a statue snaps him out of it. Reaching the temple he finds the eye out of reach. But reading the inscription at his feet, "What you seek lies within thy reach." Hasani realizes the eye only appears out of reach and is actually in his grasp. Taj is restored, and uses the to learn Yasmine's desire, they her she desires Taj. Using the flying carpet they attempt to return to Baghdad, but are attacked by Jaudur's men, on flying horses.The carpet is slashed to.pieces. Taj and Hasani fly of in different directions. Jaudur, with the eye, returns to Baghdad with "his" gift. Other suitors return with fabulous gifts, a cornucopia, and a glove that turns anything into jewels. Jaudur exposes the other gifts as fake, or sabotages them with his magic. (It is never revealed which) When presented with the eye, Yasmine asks Taj's whereabouts. It is shown he is lost in the desert. In the desert, Taj discovered a bottle in the sand. Opening it releases a giant genie who tries to kill Taj. Taj tricks the genie back into the bottle. The genie offers Taj three wishes if released. First Taj wants reunited with Hasani, who found himself in an oasis with beautiful harem girls. Next the genie takes them to Jaudur's soul, in a bird nest on the side of s mountain. After collecting the soul, the genie takes them back to Baghdad. Jaudur has by now hypnotized Yasmine and the Caliph into agreeing to the wedding, Which Taj arrives in time to prevent.
- Genre: Action
- Runtime: 102 Minutes
The Thief of Baghdad is a 1978 fantasy film, a British/French co-production. It was directed by Clive Donner, and stars Roddy MacDowall and Kabir Bedi. The film was released theatrically, except for the US where it debuted on television.