This is slightly less of an issue with The Thief of Bagdad, though. Not because it looks good, because it doesn’t, but because technology is the least of its problems. The Thief of Bagdad is a silent movie and it is weird. I cannot believe that movies got as popular as they did without sound. It is not a fun movie experience. It forces people to mime, it doesn’t allow for real, subtle acting – everything has to be big – and it makes the characters really hard to tell apart. Obviously, at the beginning of movies, the actors weren’t that important to movie makers. I can’t see how they could have been.
I guess my point is that this is simply not a sophisticated movie. Not in story - the beginning is an Aladdin-esque love story and the second half is very…video-game-y, of all things. You have guides and little objects to gather and monsters to fight, it was very strange – not in acting, not in themes or visuals. When I compare this movie to the other films in the project, it just doesn’t have the same amount of depth or thought put into it. It doesn’t have as much to say, or hardly any symbolism. What they put on the screen is all there is to this movie. It was charming for…twenty minutes, maybe? But then it just kept going. This movie was over two hours long.
I just cannot comprehend why the American Film Institute thought this movie needed to be on this list. Maybe because Douglas Fairbanks is in it? Because it’s old? Is it…the Pegasus? I don’t get it. I can tell you that this movie has virtually nothing on the rest of this entire list.