Kismet

  • 1955
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Fantasy, Musical

Dizzying Baghdadian luxury fills the screen in this opulently colored CinemaScope presentation of the popular stage musical. Filmed silently in 1920, then in 1930, and again in 1944 (the last film starring Marlene Dietrich and Ronald Colman), the Arabian Nights-inspired play by Edward Knoblock was converted into a Broadway hit by Robert Wright and George...read more

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Dizzying Baghdadian luxury fills the screen in this opulently colored CinemaScope presentation of the popular stage musical. Filmed silently in 1920, then in 1930, and again in 1944 (the last film starring Marlene Dietrich and Ronald Colman), the Arabian Nights-inspired play by Edward

Knoblock was converted into a Broadway hit by Robert Wright and George Forrest, using the music of Borodin. In this adaptation, Howard Keel stars as the poet-beggar Haaj, who is embroiled in a scheme engineered by the power-hungry wazir (Sebastian Cabot) to marry the wazir's son, the caliph (Vic

Damone), to a princess. Haaj, however, is in a bind because his daughter (Ann Blyth) is in love with the caliph. The fun-loving Haaj plays along with the wazir's folly, all the while trying to figure out how to get his daughter and the caliph together--until fate, or "kismet," inevitably takes its

course and the picture steamrolls to an exuberant end. Entertaining fluff, KISMET never really captures the electricity of the stage musical, perhaps because director Vincente Minnelli only took it on in order to get LUST FOR LIFE, a project he desperately wanted. The cast is commendable, but the

film's real draw is its splendid art direction and the thoroughly hummable Wright-Forrest tunes adapted from Borodin, including "And This Is My Beloved," "Stranger in Paradise," "Baubles, Bangles, and Beads," "Night of My Nights," "Not Since Ninevah," "Bored," "Fate," "Gesticulate," "The Olive

Tree," "The Sands of Time," "Rahadlakum," "Rhymes Have I," and "Dance of the Three Princesses of Aba Bu."

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Dizzying Baghdadian luxury fills the screen in this opulently colored CinemaScope presentation of the popular stage musical. Filmed silently in 1920, then in 1930, and again in 1944 (the last film starring Marlene Dietrich and Ronald Colman), the Arabian N… (more)

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