Telluride Film Fest: “Thief of Bagdad”

Telluride Film Fest: “Thief of Bagdad”

Telluride Film Festival Cinematheque at the Wilkinson Public Library. Technicolor explored, starting with “The Thief of Bagdad.” FREE. Screening takes place Monday, October 5, 6 p.m.


Who could forget Dorothy’s unforgettable transition from the lackluster sepia of her Kansas home to the stunning color of the fantastical Oz, quite literally over the rainbow. Rich and heavily saturated, Technicolor became a tool to emphasize imaginative story lines and sets – to transition the vividness of our imaginations to celluloid.

To achieve the lush color, light was filtered through a double beam splitter in cameras, a process of refining and blocking colors that when combined and superimposed resulted in an enhanced visual spectrum and a film experience like no other.

The Telluride Film Festival and Wilkinson Public Library are thrilled to present first of a four-part series entitled Technicolor Explored, beginning with THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, the epic classic from Michael Powell, Alexander Korda, Ludwig Berger, Tim Whela, Zoltan Korda and William Cameron Menzies, (1940, 106 minutes, Rated G).

“This 1940 movie is one of the great entertainments. It lifts up the heart,” wrote Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times.

Three-time Oscar-winner and visually groundbreaking take on “1001 Arabian Nights,” THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (also the precursor to Disney’s ALADDIN) follows the young thief Abu (Sabu), and the youthful king Ahmad (John Justin). They must escape the evil Jaffar’s (Conrad Veidt) palace dungeon.

On their journey, Ahmad, living like a beggar, falls in love with the Princess (June Duprez) who has already been betrothed to Jaffar. The battle for love takes the audience into mystical realms where we meet the towering genie (Rex Ingram), the devious Halima (Mary Morris), and where we encounter wonderful magic including a wondrous magic carpet ride.

Variety hailed the film as “a colorful, lavish and eye-appealing spectacle.”  

For a preview, watch the trailer:


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