Tag Archives: Conrad Veidt

The Thief of Bagdad

1940

directed by: Michael Powell et al.

Oscars: Best Cinematography; Best Art Direction, Color; Best Visual Effects

Thief of Bagdad.  Cool Movie.  So The Thief of Bagdad is a remake of the 1992 Disney movie Aladdin, though the producers had to time-travel back 52 years to make it.  It stars John Justin as Ah(Acccchhhhh)mad [Aladdin] , Sabu as Abu [Abu] , June Duprez as the Princess [Jasmine], and Conrad Veidt as Jaffar [Jafar].  Aladdin names will be used from now on.  So Aladdin is the Sultan of these peoples, even though he’s as white as me and they’re as Indian as … Gandhi.  Jafar is his royal vizier, same as the other movie.  So Aladdin pulls a Jasmine and wants to go out into the city to live and breathe amongst the peoples. Jafar is like, sure, dude, go for it, but then has him arrested and proven mad because no one would believe a man in rags is Sultan.  +1 to Jafar.  So Jafar takes over.  Aladdin escapes with his monkey-boy Abu, the thief.  Note, Abu gets changed into a dog by Jafar, then back into a boy.  +2 Jafar.  They Tarantino a lot of the first Act.  Anyways, it’s love at first sight for Aladdin and Jasmine, who’s still the daughter of another Sultan (he’s got different peoples and loves toys? for some reason), but Jafar is always getting in the middle and banishing Aladdin with his voodoo magic or throwing guards at him with swords.  +3 Jafar.  So after a while, Aladdin and Abu get shipwrecked on different places, (though they were on the same boat).  This is where it gets Drug-trippy (think Poppy-scene in Wizard of Oz).

So Abu has this hallucination and ends up in a tent full of elders that proclaim him as some sort of demigod.  They also tell him to find this ‘eye’ and it will show him how to get back to Aladdin.  Right.  Now, Abu finds a bottle and boom, Genie.  Giant genie.  Laughs a lot, not as funny as Robin Williams, picture Jafar in the climax of Aladdin (not the snake, the giant) though less (though not much) evil.  See also, photo above. So they all , oh crap, I mixed this up a bit.  The hallucination crap comes later.  Whatever.  So Abu and the Genie find this eye.  Which is guarded by (BEGIN OBSCURE REFERENCES)  Morlocks & a …average sized spider puppet and had a very Uncharted 2 feel to the place.  Also think of Aladdin where Abu tries to steal that red ruby at the beginning, minus the whole place collapsing. (END OBSCURE REFERENCES)   To be honest this whole part of the movie was a throwaway.

Meanwhile back in the Aladdin and Jasmine saga….not much has been happening.  Jafar is still trying to get Jasmine to love him (All the man wants is to be loved! Is that so much to Ask?!)  Aladdin swings in to save the day, minor sword-fight, Abu has a flying carpet?, and the Sultan got stabbed in the back of the neck and died 45 minutes ago.  And they all lived happily ever after.

Underrated Actors: Conrad Veidt as Jafar

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