|Directed by||Vincente Minnelli|
|Written by|| Luther Davis |
|Based on|| Kismet |
by Edward Knoblock
|Produced by||Arthur Freed|
|Starring|| Howard Keel |
|Edited by||Adrienne Fazan|
|Music by|| Alexander Borodin |
Music supervised by
|Distributed by||Loew's, Inc.|
|December 23, 1955|
Kismet is a 1955 American musical-comedy film directed by Vincente Minnelli and produced by Arthur Freed. It was filmed in CinemaScope and Eastmancolor and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
It is the fifth movie version of Kismet. The first was released in 1914, the second in 1920, the third in 1930 by Warner Brothers, and the fourth, starring Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich, by MGM in 1944.The 1955 film is based on the successful 1953 stage musical Kismet , while the three earlier versions are based on the original 1911 play by Edward Knoblock.
In old Baghdad, an impoverished poet (Howard Keel) is abducted and brought to the desert tent of Jawan (Jay C. Flippen), an elderly thief, having been mistaken for a man who cursed Jawan fifteen years ago. As a result of the curse, Jawan's beloved son was kidnapped, and Jawan longs to find him again before he dies. The Poet asks for one hundred gold pieces to reverse the curse; Jawan agrees, and returns to Baghdad to look for his son.
In Baghdad, the Poet's daughter, Marsinah (Ann Blyth) meets and falls in love with the young Caliph (Vic Damone), who has been traveling incognito. They arrange to meet again that night.
The Poet is arrested when he begins spending his hundred gold pieces because his purse carries the insignia of a wealthy family that was robbed. At the Wazir's (Sebastian Cabot) court, he defends himself against the charge of robbery, but also curses the Wazir. Jawan, brought before the Wazir on another charge, angrily confirms the Poet's story, and then notices a familiar amulet around the Wazir's neck. In this way, Jawan discovers his long-lost son.
The Caliph announces that he plans to take a bride that night, discomforting the Wazir, who has a badly needed loan riding on persuading the Caliph to marry a princess of Ababu. The Wazir, fearing that the Poet's curse had something to do with it, offers to make the Poet an Emir if he reverses the curse. The Poet happily accepts, and when the Wazir leaves him alone with his favorite wife Lalume (Dolores Gray), the two realize they have similar temperaments.
The Poet orchestrates an elaborate "curse-reversal" scheme that enables him to sneak out of the palace; he finds Marsinah and convinces her that he will be killed unless they flee Baghdad. Despite Marsinah's protests—she wants to wait for her rendezvous and see the Caliph's wedding procession—they flee. Word spreads that the Caliph's bride was not there when the Caliph came to claim her. Since the "curse reversal" seems to have worked, the Poet leaves Marsinah and returns to the palace.
The Poet tells Lalume that he is worried about Marsinah, and Lalume suggests that she come to live in the palace. Marsinah arrives and confesses that she has fallen in love but does not know her beloved's name. Lalume hides Marsinah in the harem for her own protection, but there the Caliph sees her and believes her to be a wife of the Wazir. When the Wazir privately congratulates the Poet on bringing the Caliph's true love into the Wazir's own harem, the Poet realizes that the Caliph is Marsinah's beloved.
At a ceremony planned to choose a new bride, the Poet tricks the Wazir and (almost) drowns him in front of the Caliph and the crowd. The Poet is sentenced to death, but Lalume saves the day as Marsinah is revealed to be the Poet's daughter and the victim of the Wazir's scheming. The Caliph sentences the Wazir to death and the Poet to exile. The Poet agrees, but asks to take the soon-to-be-widowed Lalume with him. Thus the Poet weds Lalume and the Caliph weds Marsinah—all in the course of a single day.
According to MGM records the film earned $1,217,000 in the US and Canada and $610,000 elsewhere resulting in a loss of $2,252,000.
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
The Thief of Bagdad is a 1924 American silent swashbuckler film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Douglas Fairbanks, and written by Achmed Abdullah and Lotta Woods. Freely adapted from One Thousand and One Nights, it tells the story of a thief who falls in love with the daughter of the Caliph of Baghdad. In 1996, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
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Jay C. Flippen was an American character actor who often played police officers or weary criminals in many films of the 1940s and 1950s.
Joan Diener was an American theatre actress and singer with a three-and-a-half-octave range.
Doretta Morrow was an American actress, singer and dancer who appeared in stage and television productions during the 1940s and 1950s. She is best remembered for having created roles in the original productions of three successful Broadway musicals: Kitty Verdun in Where's Charley? (1948), Tuptim in The King and I (1951) and Marsinah in Kismet (1953). She co-starred in the 1952 Hollywood film Because You're Mine, as Mario Lanza's love interest. She appeared in several live television musicals. She retired from performance in 1960 at the age of 33.
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Sit Tight is a 1931 American Pre-Code musical comedy film, directed by Lloyd Bacon, written by Rex Taylor, edited by James Gibbon, and produced and distributed by Warner Bros. It was originally intended as a full musical, but due to the backlash against musicals, all the songs were cut from the film except for one – sung by Winnie Lightner – in all release prints in the United States.
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Kismet is an American silent film version of the 1911 play Kismet by Edward Knoblock, starring Otis Skinner and Elinor Fair, and directed by Louis J. Gasnier.
The Thief of Baghdad is a 1978 fantasy film directed by Clive Donner and starring Roddy MacDowall and Kabir Bedi. A British and French co-production, the film was released theatrically, except for the United States where it debuted on television.
The Sword of Ali Baba is a 1965 American adventure film from Universal Pictures, directed by Virgil W. Vogel and written by Edmund Hartmann and Oscar Brodney. The film stars Peter Mann, Jocelyn Lane, Frank McGrath, Gavin MacLeod, Frank Puglia, and Peter Whitney.
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