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In Ispahan, Persia, Hajji Baba is leaving his father's shop to seek a greater fortune, while the Princess Fawzia is trying to talk her father, the Caliph into giving her in marriage to Nur-El-Din, a rival prince known far and wide as mean and fickle. Her father intends Fawzia for Fawzia to marry a friend and ally, and makes plans to send her to him. But a courier brings word from Nur-El-Din that an escort awaits Fawzia on the outskirts of the city and she escapes the palace disguised as a boy. Hajji encounters the escort-warrior at the rendezvous spot, is attacked and beats up the escort with his barber's tools. The princess arrives and mistakes Hajji as the escort until he mistakes the emerald ring sent by Nur-El-Din to Fawzia as the prize to be delivered. In her efforts to escape him, her turban becomes unbound and Hajji realizes that the girl herself is the treasure Nur-El-Din awaits. Hajji promises to escort her and they spend the night with the caravan of Osman Aga, who invites ...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
But this is no normal 'B' movie. The location scenery is superlative. In fact, some of the natural rock scenes I have seen many times in other famous movies. The direction is top notch. The acting is genuine and moving. Some very difficult lines are delivered with the utmost professionalism. EVERY actor AND EVERY actress is great! This movie is very impressive. To me, this movie is so good that it should be required viewing. The best 'B' that I have ever seen.
But this movie goes beyond that. The (especial the women's) horse riding is very good. The ladies put the men to shame. It seems that the advertisement for hiring was "beautiful breasted barrel riders need only apply". Every female actress in this movie is gorgeous. For the men, one scene near the end, where the villain gives chase... he rides with his body unmoving.
The wardrobe is inspired. The costumes are equally sparse as they are beautiful AND functional. As an aside, I would have put primal scissor cuts in the leotards of the Amazons.
The sets are also awesome. Clearly to me, a stage director had built the minimalistic but dramatic sets. It is difficult to put in words how wonderful it to see such a laconic set. But look! Masterpiece, zen like, archetypal. Very good sets.
There is one scene, which I am sure was supposed to be filtered as a night scene (when Hajji was rescuing the princess from the rope cross), was changed back to the actual film of full light. This exposed to me that the direction is tight. And the attention to detail made me, as a viewer, to more fully concentrate on the details. This made the movie more enjoyable because I have a want to be a couch coach.
There's more! I don't know how the dialog was conceived and/or refined. Some of it is very contrived but at least effective. But, some of it is also inspirational. It seems to me that when the writers let go of the period that they did their best work. Honest and straightforward. In my mind, just a little more rewriting and a bigger budget would have propelled this movie into a classic.
Ooh, I'm crazy, you say?! This movie was all ready better than Ivanhoe from the first scene. And, never looked back. The only movie, that comes to mind, that I can reasonably compare is 'The Robe'. But that is a classic, isn't it?
The location manager needs to be commended. Unfortunately, in one scene the plants (to my eye) are spray painted red for effect. But in all the other scenes, the plants are shown off in great detail and for good effect.
OK, that was the good.
The male lead. The eyebrows, too much. I would have waxed a little from the bridge out to the ear to relieve some of the 'puppy' look. The haircut is consistent but a little long. I would have went with a GI crew. His acting is the hardest to relate with, however, glimpses of true feeling are displayed. Wish that it were more.
The female lead. One scene she flicks her bangs back with were hand. Awesome. In the next, she uses a head shake to flick back her bangs back. Not awesome. That's the worst thing that I can say about the female lead! The leotards. NO. The answer is no. In one scene, a female player is shown WITHOUT tights. Thank god! Too bad the director didn't recognize this.
Not enough closeups!! Hey, I'll trade two minutes of beautiful legs for two minutes of beautiful eyes! And, yes, that trade was possible. This is a western after all.
Signing off. Moxy
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