Ali Baba Bujang Lapok

Last updated

Ali Baba Bujang Lapok
The one-sheet for Ali Baba Bujang Lapok.
Directed by P. Ramlee
Screenplay byP. Ramlee
Based on Ali Baba
CinematographyA. Bakar Ali
Edited byHR Narayana
Music by
  • Kassim Masdor
  • P. Ramlee
Distributed by Shaw Brothers
Release date
  • 31 January 1961 (1961-01-31)
Running time
122 minutes
  • Singapore
  • Malaya

Ali Baba Bujang Lapok (Malay:"Ali Baba the Old Bachelor") is a 1961 Singapore Malay-language black-and-white comedy film directed by, written by and starring Malaysian silver-screen legend P. Ramlee and produced in Singapore by Malay Film Productions Ltd. Based loosely on the story of Ali Baba from 1001 Arabian Nights, the film is occasionally self-referential and contains elements of anarchic comedy, burlesque comedy, satire and farce. The title includes the suffix Bujang Lapok because it is the third instalment in the Bujang Lapok series of comedy films that star the trio of P. Ramlee, S. Shamsuddin and Aziz Sattar. This film marked the feature film debut of Sarimah, who would go on to a long movie career, and is also notable as one of the few P. Ramlee films where he plays the villain.



Ali Baba (Aziz Sattar) is a poor man who cannot succeed in life. He constantly sends his wife to his brother Kassim Baba's house to borrow flour so they can eat, but the stingy Kassim Baba (S. Shamsuddin) is frustrated at his brother and constantly reminds his wife, Norsiah, of Ali Baba's uselessness. When Norsiah comes to ask for flour for the umpteenth time, Kassim Baba loses his temper and lashes out at her sending her home in tears. She blames Ali Baba for putting her in the situation and blames him for not making an effort to seek a job. Ali Baba finally relents and goes out into the woods to gather firewood where he chances upon a group of 40 thieves marching through the woods carrying loot and treasures. He hides in a tree and watches their leader (P. Ramlee) stand in front of a cave and sings a verse of seemingly nonsensical words (niat ingsun matek aji semar ngising, actually a Javanese language poem) which causes an entrance to the cave to open. Ali Baba waits until the thieves have all left the cave before coming out of the tree and using the magic words to open the cave. Inside, he discovers a variety of riches and wealth, but only takes a box of gold coins.

With the gold coins, Ali Baba is able to pay Kassim back everything he owes and live in better comfort. Kassim Baba is overcome with curiosity and pesters Ali Baba to tell him how he suddenly came into wealth. Ali Baba eventually relents and tells Kassim about the cave and the magical verse to open it, but before he can tell him the verse to close the cave, or about the thieves who use it, Kassim Baba rushes off to find the cave.

Kassim, in his greed, tries to steal everything in the cave. The thieves return, find the cave door open and quickly close it. Kassim, who has forgotten the chant to reopen the door, is trapped and caught. Kassim tries to stall, but the thieves eventually kill him. When Kassim does not return home, Ali Baba sneaks out to the cave, where he finds his brothers' remains. He collects Kassim and has him sewn together by bribing the town cobbler, Apek, to do it.

The thieves eventually hear of Apek's strange "job", and identify Kassim Baba as the man they'd killed. The thieves plan to rob his house, which is now under the protection of Ali Baba. This attempt fails twice thanks to the interference of Marjina, Ali Baba's newest servant. The leader of the thieves, enraged by his men's incompetence, decides to look for the house himself. Once he has found it, he poses as an oil merchant visiting Ali Baba's house, while his thieves hide in oil jars that are kept in the courtyard. Marjina discover the hidden thieves and, with the help of Ali Baba's wife and widowed sister-in-law, pour boiling oil into all the individual jars. After all the thieves are defeated, Marjina attacks and kills the leader himself. Ali Baba, grateful for her loyalty, sets her free.


Although Ali Baba Bujang Lapok is filmed as a period piece set in an unidentified country with a Middle-Eastern look, it is filled with deliberate anachronisms which are used for humour. Among them are the appearances of bicycles, motorcycles, trucks, a Vespa scooter, telephones and guns (especially a punt gun). When on leave, the 40 thieves also dress as various anachronistic characters, among them a cowboy, wig-wearing judge and a World War 2-era Japanese soldier.

In addition, the 40 thieves seem to function as a proper business, offering members health benefits, performance-based bonuses and overtime pay. Like the above anachronistic items, these are played for humorous effect (e.g. the leader of the thieves turns down a job because Sunday is a public holiday, and when the irate requester threatens to find other thieves the leader warns that if he does so the Thieves Union will take action).

Besides, the movie is also notable for mocking the legal status of cannabis and opium in then-British Malaya for humorous effect. It is shown in a scene where Marjina is buying some belacan at the city market, where the seller claims that selling cannabis and opium is legal but belacan is illegal, as it is smuggled from Malaya, even though the actual legal status for those three items in Malaya is the opposite and the words ganja and candu were muted out by shrimp paste smuggler.

The signs were also written in the Jawi script.



Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves</span> Folk tale in One Thousand and One Nights

"Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" is a folk tale in Arabic added to the One Thousand and One Nights in the 18th century by its French translator Antoine Galland, who heard it from Syrian storyteller Hanna Diyab. As one of the most popular Arabian Nights tales, it has been widely retold and performed in many media across the world, especially for children.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">P. Ramlee</span> Malaysian singer, scriptwriter, actor, songwriter, and film director (1929–1973)

Tan Sri Datuk Amar Teuku Zakaria bin Teuku Nyak Puteh, better known by his stage name P. Ramlee, was a Malaysian actor, filmmaker, musician, and composer famous in both modern-day Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Southern Thailand. Born in the Penang, Malaysia, he is regarded as a prominent icon of Malay language entertainment.

Jalan Ampas is a street near Balestier Road in Singapore where the movie studios Malay Film Productions and Shaw Brothers were located.

<i>Labu dan Labi</i> 1962 film by P. Ramlee

Labu dan Labi is a Singaporean black-and-white buddy comedy film directed by and starring P. Ramlee. The movie was filmed in Singapore and it revolves around the antics of Labu and Labi, two servants with wild imaginations who work in the house of a wealthy but miserly man, Haji Bakhil bin Haji Kedekut. The movie is filmed in the style of a stage pantomime, with over-the-top comedy and featuring the characters occasionally talking directly to the audience. The film's sequel is Nasib Si Labu Labi.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saiful Apek</span> Malaysian actor and comedian

Muhammad Saiful Azam bin Mohamed Yusoff or better known as Saiful Apek is a comedian of Malaysia. He was once called "Malaysia's No.1 Comedian" during his heyday and also the title of "Sifu" by comedians today. Until today, his aura and credibility as a comedian are unparalleled and unmatched. He is known as an intellectual comedian who is knowledgeable in every word and manners while entertaining.

Nasib Si Labu Labi is a 1963 Singaporean Malay-language black-and-white buddy comedy film directed by and starring P. Ramlee. The film is a sequel to Labu dan Labi and features a number of returning cast members.

<i>Seniman Bujang Lapok</i> 1961 film by P. Ramlee

Seniman Bujang Lapok is a 1961 Singaporean Malay-language black-and-white comedy film directed by P. Ramlee. It is the fourth instalment in the Bujang Lapok series of films, but the last to feature P. Ramlee, S. Shamsuddin and Aziz Sattar as the main trio of actors. However, it is not a direct sequel to the previous "Bujang Lapok" films, as there are no references to the events of the previous films.

Pendekar Bujang Lapok is a 1959 Singaporean comedy film directed by P. Ramlee. It is the second in the Bujang Lapok series of films, and stars the trio of P. Ramlee, S. Shamsuddin and Aziz Sattar, all of which was filmed on site at Jalan Ampas, Singapore.

<i>Nujum Pa Belalang</i> 1959 Singaporean film

Nujum Pak Belalang is a 1959 Singaporean comedy film directed by and starring P. Ramlee. The film is styled as a fairytale and is loosely based on a Malay folk tale.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aziz Sattar</span> Indonesian-born Malaysian actor (1925–2014)

Datuk Abdul Aziz bin Sattar was a Malaysian actor, singer, comedian, and director who is mostly known for his roles in the black and white Malay films of the 1950s and 1960s.

Budak Lapok is a 2007 Malaysian animated film. Based on the P. Ramlee film Bujang Lapok, the film premiered on 13 October 2007 and was directed by Anwardi Datuk Jamil. It became the first Malaysian animated movie released in six years since Putih in 2001.

Bujang Lapok is a 1957 Singaporean Malay-language black-and-white comedy film directed and performed by P. Ramlee. This is the first of the Bujang Lapok series of films.

The Writers' Movement '50, better known as Asas '50, is the first and oldest literary association in post-war Malaysia. It was founded on 6 August 1950, with a stated philosophy of "Art for Society".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">S. Shamsuddin</span> Singapore actor (1929–2013)

Shamsuddin bin Dali or better known as S. Shamsuddin was a Singaporean actor and comedian who appeared in Malayan films during the 1950s and 1960s.

Bujang Lapok Kembali Daa, or The Return of the Three Bachelors is a 1986 Malaysia Malay-language comedy film directed, written and acted in by Aziz Sattar. In this film, P. Ramlee's son, Nasir (1953-2008) took over his late father's place in the trio. This would be the fifth and last installment of Bujang Lapok film series.

<i>Sergeant Hassan</i> 1958 film by Lamberto Avellana

Sarjan Hassan or Sergeant Hassan is 1958 Singaporean war drama film starring P. Ramlee. The film took place during the Japanese invasion of Malaya during the Second World War. Initially, the film was supposed to be directed by Lamberto Avellana; however, he was unable to fully complete the film. The directing task was later taken over by P. Ramlee.

<i>Alibaba Aur 40 Chor</i> (1966 film) 1966 Hindi adventure fantasy film

Alibaba Aur 40 Chor is 1966 Hindi adventure fantasy film produced and directed by Homi Wadia and starring Sanjeev Kumar in the lead role. The film is based on Ali Baba's story from One Thousand and One Nights.

<i>Ali Baba</i> (1973 film) 1973 Indian film

Ali Baba is a 1973 Bengali short animated film directed by Rohit Mohra. It is a musical drama about the character Ali Baba from the folk tale Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves who discovers the secret of a thieves' den, to the ire of the thieves. Ali Baba is a poor woodcutter who discovers the secret of a thieves' den, entered with the phrase "Open Sesame". The thieves learn of Ali Baba's discovery and try to kill Ali Baba, but Ali Baba's faithful slave-girl foils their plots. Ali Baba gives his son to her in marriage and keeps the secret of the treasure.

The Bujang Lapok film series consists of five comedy films:

  1. Bujang Lapok (1957)
  2. Pendekar Bujang Lapok (1959)
  3. Ali Baba Bujang Lapok (1960)
  4. Seniman Bujang Lapok (1961)
  5. Bujang Lapok Kembali Daa (1986)
<i>Ali Baba</i> (TV series) Indian fantasy television series

Ali Baba is an Indian fantasy television series based on the Arabian Nights character Ali Baba. Produced by Alind Srivastava and Nissar Parvez under Peninsula Pictures. The series follows the life of an orphan Alibaba, from the Mamuli Gali of Kabul, and the challenges he faces while he tries to protect and take care of five other orphan children.