The Wonders of Aladdin

1961 [ITALIAN]

Action / Fantasy

Plot summary

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Donald O'Connor Photo
Donald O'Connor as Aladdin
Terence Hill Photo
Terence Hill as Prince Moluk
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858.67 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 33 min
P/S ...
1.56 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 33 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid7 / 10

A mixture of great moments and the not so good!

Copyright 31 December 1961 by Lux Film/C.C.F. Lux. A French/Italian co-production, filmed on locations in Tunisia and studios in Rome, English version released through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. New York opening simultaneously at the Forum and the Baronet: 22 December 1961. U.S. release: December 1961. U.K. release: 16 December 1962 (sic). Australian release: 23 August 1962. 8,292 feet. 92 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: In the ancient city of Baghdad, a poor boy named Aladdin day-dreams of great wealth and royal processions. One day his mother buys him a little lamp which the lad accidentally discovers contains a genie who can grant him three magic wishes. Aladdin uses his first wish to escape from some merchants he has robbed and then sets out by caravan to attend the royal wedding of Princess Zaina and Prince Moluk. Accompanying him is his devoted but unrequited girl friend, Djalma, and his loyal bodyguard, Omar. When Aladdin and Omar are captured by man-killing Amazon huntresses, the genie is once more summoned and he transports the pair to an Arab camp near the royal city of Basora. Meanwhile, the wicked Grand Vizier has taken Prince Moluk prisoner and is planning to marry the Princess himself. But Aladdin and his friends...

NOTES: Both the French — Les Mille et Une Nuits — and Italian — Le meraviglie di Aladino — versions run 100 minutes.

VIEWERS' GUIDE: The 93 minute version contains material highly unsuitable for children.

COMMENT: "Wonders of Aladdin" is going to disappoint many potential customers because it's virtually a straight Arabian Nights adventure in the style of those Universal Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie, Rock Hudson, Jeff Chandler pictures and very little use is made of the genie of the lamp and the consequent special effects. In fact, it's a pity that the genie has such a small role to play in the proceedings because his first appearance and the special effects arising therefrom are rather well done and we look forward to more of the same, and even better outcomes. Alas, we have to wait rather a long time for more and when they come they are inferior both in quantity and in quality (a wire is even visible in one scene).

Although he receives such large billing, De Sica has a very small and unrewarding part (the final indignity — his voice is even dubbed in the English version). In fact, O'Connor is the only member of the cast to use his own voice (incidentally, if you are not a fan of his, you would be well advised to avoid this one, he is on screen almost continuously and even doubles up in an uncredited bit part in which he plays the acrobat/artist who draws a picture of Princess Zaina for the Grand Vizier).

The rest of the cast is interesting — Adam, Fabrizi, Mercier — but cannot compare to the talent assembled behind the camera. The only dud is director Henry Levin. No writers are credited on the screen (or Filmfacts) but whoever they were, they certainly came up with a lightweight pastiche that many would say wasted a lot of talent.

On the other hand, the film is always very colorful to look at, and O'Connor is as acrobatic as Fairbanks, Senior. There are some really bright moments in the script, especially the scenes with the robot dolls and the aged wizard.

Reviewed by Bunuel19766 / 10

THE WONDERS OF ALADDIN (Henry Levin and Mario Bava, 1961) **1/2

While I could only get my hands on a French-dubbed version of this costumed romp (without even the benefit of any subtitles),I admit to having enjoyed it quite a bit – indeed, more than I anticipated! Bava's involvement notwithstanding, I had long wanted to check this one out, in view of a movie poster of it kept in a scrapbook by my father back from the time of its local theatrical release. I have watched many an Arabian Nights fantasy in my time, so that there was very little novelty in the way of plot here…but the cult director's hand definitely benefited the look of the film – with sets, costumes, special effects and overall color scheme all coming across as rather splendid within their modest confines. Apart from the obligatory Hollywood veteran brought in to act as 'supervisor', we also get an American lead in Donald O'Connor: his comic shtick may be an acquired taste, but the actor's irrepressible energy served the role well in action highlights (not to mention a dance sequence towards the end in which he assumes the garbs of a mannequin imbued with life by the villain's sorcerer!). Also exposing the movie's Italian/French heritage is the fact that the supporting cast is peppered with many an established and upcoming presence from both these countries: Fausto Tozzi as a particularly flamboyant Grand Vizier, Terence Hill (still bearing his pre-stardom name of Mario Girotti) as the romantic second lead, Vittorio De Sica as the ubiquitous genie-in-a-lamp, and a typically flustered Aldo Fabrizi as the Sultan; Michele Mercier, then, is Hill's regal intended and Fabrizi's daughter (naturally also coveted by the dastardly Tozzi) and Raymond Bussieres appears as the Sultan's adviser. As expected, the fantasy sequences – capped by a desert climax in which O'Connor duels with Tozzi (albeit managing to overcome him only through De Sica's helping hand, just as, at one point his dimensions are enlarged in order for him to turn the tables on some pursuers, with one of them even landing the post thereafter of the hero's servant/sidekick!) – prove the film's ultimate mainstay. That said, there are also comedic flashes of eroticism (O'Connor twice discovers his girlfriend hanging naked after being captured by the villain) and a couple more of outright sadism (people falling through a secret panel in the floor of Tozzi's palace are ripped apart by his vicious dogs) which are decidedly incongruous for what is essentially a kiddie film!

Reviewed by Fella_shibby5 / 10

Comedic for its time.

I first saw this in the early 90s. Revisited it recently. This film hasn't aged well. It has some good comedy, decent effects, hell lottuva babes n a funny faced Sultan (Aldo Fabrizi). It even has Terence Hill in a tiny role n the intimidating wrestler Milton Reid (Dr. No and The Spy Who Loved Me).

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