The Thief of Baghdad
is a Silent Movie
from 1924 loosely based on stories from One Thousand and One Nights.
It is about a thief from Bagdad
who falls in love with the daughter of the Caliph, and pretends to be a prince in order to marry her. He subsequently goes on adventures to find a treasure in order to prove his worthiness.
It starred Douglas Fairbanks Senior (who also produced the movie and co-wrote the script), and was directed by Raoul Walsh
. Not to be confused with the 1940 remake
Tropes appearing in this film include:
- Arabian Nights Days
- Crystal Ball
- Distressed Damsel: The love interest.
- Enthralling Siren: The hero comes across a few of these in one of the trials he has to face. He's tempted... but then he looks at his beloved's ring, and snaps out of it.
- Heel-Faith Turn: The hero eventually realises what an asshole he's been halfway through the movie, and goes to the city mosque for guidance from the imam he had scorned earlier in the film. Fortunately for him, the imam is a Good Shepherd (okay, maybe not quite in the modern sense, but he still counts!)
- Hermit Guru
- The Hero's Journey
- Earn Your Happy Ending: "Happiness must be earned" is directly stated to be the moral of the story.
- Flying Carpet
- The Infiltration: Used both by the thief, to get into the palace (and the competition for the princess' hand) disguised as a prince, and by the villainous Mongols, to sneak twenty thousand troops into the city disguised as porters bearing gifts. Given how easily both schemes work, a good example of The Guards Must Be Crazy.
- Invisibility Cloak
- Loveable Rogue: Well, he doesn't seem much like this at the very beginning; he uses one of the daily salah to steal a merchant's wares, pops into a mosque specifically to tell the imam that he - the thief, that is - is better than Allah. Luckily, he sees the Princess soon after, and when he realises that she's not another item to be stolen away he becomes a better person for it.
- No Name Given: None of the characters - except for Ahmed - actually have a first name, and are known simply by their roles in the story.
- And even Ahmed is (apparently) an assumed name to go with the thief's prince disguise. So, in the credits, the thief is just "the thief." On the other hand, the Mongol Khan is (once) introduced as "Cham Shang the Great."
- Pegasus: The winged horse who carries the thief to the Citadel of the Moon.
- Secret Underground Passage. Given how easily the thief and his associate get in and out of the palace, it exhibits Swiss Cheese Security.
- Silent Movie: Considered one of the classics of the medium by fans of old adventure movies.
- Yellow Peril: The "Mongol" characters, all of which are villains.