Arabian Nights (1942)


John Rawlings directs Maria Montez, Sabu and Jon Hall in this golden age Hollywood adventure where Scheherazade, Sinbad, Aladdin and an acrobat help Baghdad’s real caliph dethrone his bad brother.

If you can’t handle half the cast in brown face, the other half not even bothering then this really, really isn’t the flick for you. If on the other hand you can stomach a bunch of old Jewish entertainers doing music hall knockabout schtick while praising Allah every other sentence then there’s tons to enjoy. Sabu handles the action and the smarts, the honkies the romance. It all moves along with magisterial epic sweep and looks appropriately fantastic and to scale. As Sunday afternoon, boldly technicolor adventures go, this has charm and romp in spades. Dated bad taste aside, I loved it.


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