Thousand And One Nights, A (1945, Cornel Wilde, Evelyn Keyes)

A Thousand And One Nights

Spectacular Technicolor fantasy A Thousand And One Nights puts a fun spin on that favourite old yarn, Aladdin and the Lamp. In ancient Tigris, urchin Aladdin (Cornel Wilde) has fallen in love with Princess Armina (Adele Jergens). Unfortunately, his lowly status prevents him from making a move on the daughter of the omnipotent Sultan Kamar Al-Kir (Dennis Hoey).

With the help of wisecracking buddy, Abdullah (Phil Silvers) however, Aladdin comes into possession of a magic lamp which, when rubbed, releases a wish-granting genie who transforms the suitor into a handsome prince in order that he might woo and win Armina. But here’s the twist. The genie is a busty red-head (Evelyn Keyes) who falls for Aladdin’s boyish charms and tries to prevent her master’s budding relationship.

It’s not just a jealous genie that our hero must overcome before he gets to sample the delights of the princess, as there’s a deal of political shenanigans disrupting the palace too, involving the Sultan’s power-hungry twin brother Hadji (also played by Hoey) and his evil sorcerer, the Grand Wazir Abu-Hassan (played with delicious villainy by Phillip Van Zandt).

Obviously, things work out for one and all (except for Hadji and the Wazir who get their just deserts), but the screenplay by Wilfrid H Pettitt, Richard English and Jack Henley takes us through a lively course of gags, monsters and skirmishes to reach the happy-ever-after finale.

USA / 1945

Writers: Wilfrid H Pettitt, Richard English, Jack Henley / Director: Alfred E Green

Cast: Cornel Wilde, Evelyn Keyes, Phil Silvers, Adele Jergens, Dusty Anderson, Dennis Hoey, Phillip Van Zandt, Gus Schilling, Nestor Paiva, Rex Ingram, Richard Hale, John Abbott, Murray Leonard