Thief Of Bagdad, The

519.THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1924-usa). WITH Douglas Fairbanks Sr., snitz edwards, JULANNE JOHNSTON, ANNA MAY WONG, CHARLES BELCHER. Art direction by WILLIAM CAMERON MENZIES. Written by ELTON THOMAS (FAIRBANKS). Directed by RAOUL WALSH. One of the most spectacular proÂductions of the silent era and one of the greatest adventure epics of all time-this “Arabian Nights Fantasy” had an unprecedented budget of two million dollars (imagine what it would cost today!). The inimitable Douglas FairÂbanks Sr. plays a happy-go-lucky rogue in ancient Bagdad who boldly steals everything in sight and defies anyone to capture him. With typical Fairbanks athletic prowess and boundless exuberance, he climbs ropes, jumps on and off balconies, and leaves us no time to catch our breath as he leaps from one amazing adventure to the next. When he falls in love with a beautiful Princess, the thief reforms, and, realizing that “happiness must be earned,” sets out on a quest to bring her the rarest object on earth. To do this, he must brave an incredible series of dangers, including a cave filled with flames, a gigantic lizard monster, a cavern of moving trees, and a huge underwater creature. ClimbÂing into a castle in the clouds, the thief finds a fabulous winged horse, which he rides to the Citadel of the Moon. There, he finds the cherished object of his search: a golden chest that will grant him any wish. Returning to Bagdad, he rescues the Princess from a horde of Mongols by magically summoning vast armies out of the dust, thwarting his enemies with a cloak of invisibility, and, in the enchanting finale, whisking her away on a flying carpet! The opulent, outsized sets designed by William Cameron Menzies and the ambitious special effects are awesome even by toÂday’s standards. Directed by a master of action films, Raoul Walsh, this is truly a breathtaking, endlessly entertaining cinematic achievement. Silent film with music score, correct projection speed. 190 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Adventure