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"Aw, don't be a baby! It's all in fun." "I hate fun!" - Dick Wessel & Shemp (FRIGHT NIGHT, 1947)

Bookmark and Share ARABIAN NIGHTS

Average Rating:     [7.60/10]   4 votes


King Haroun-Al-Raschid (Jon Hall) decides to spare the life of his brother Kamar (Leif Erickson) after an attempted coup. Kamar's men rescue him, and Haroun is assumed killed in the struggle. But a young Baghdad circus performer (Sabu) hides Haroun with the help of the ringmaster Ahmad (Billy Gilbert), his fellow performers Sinbad (Shemp Howard) and Aladdin (John Qualen), and the beautiful dancer Scheherazade (Maria Montez).

A former slave girl, Scherherazade is desired by Kamar, and now that Kamar is back on the throne he dispatches his aides to search the desert for his future mistress. Yearning for the power of the throne, Scherherazade wishes to sit on the throne next to Kamar, but she finds herself falling in love with Haroun, whom she believes to be nothing more than a peasant. But Kamar's vizier Nadan also has his eye on the throne, and begins a conspiracy to find Scherherazade first, sell her and her friends into slavery, and assasinate Kamar.

Shemp, Billy Gilbert, John Qualen and Richard Lane provide comedy relief. Running gags include Sinbad (Shemp) constantly telling tales of his legendary sailing exploits, and Aladdin (Qualen) anxiously rubbing every lamp he sees in hopes to find his long-lost genie. To escape Kamar's troops, Ahmad (Gilbert) disguises himself as a woman to romance the Corporal of the guard (Lane).

Shemp Howard's first and only Technicolor film.

IMDb Rating


Shemp Howard (Solo)
Release Date
December 25, 1942
Production Type
Feature Film
86 min.
Buy at Amazon.com

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Production Notes   (2)
Prod. No.:   01241
Shooting Days:   66 days   From: 1942-06-29   To: 1942-09-05

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Videography   (1)
  • Universal : Arabian Nights
    Published by Universal Pictures Home Video (1993 (V, L), 2007 (D))
    Released on:
    • DVD  
    • VHS  
    • Laser Disc

Fan Reviews   (3)
Posted 2010-10-14 12:44:31 by falsealarms
Fun film that moved along at a good pace for the bulk of its 86 minutes. It was different to see Shemp in a role like this -- not to mention in color -- but it was interesting. The DVD release of this flick has top notch video and audio quality. I wouldn't have bought the film if not for the presence of Shemp, but even without him, it was good enough to stand on its own.

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2003-02-20 21:28:00 by metaldams
Edited 2006-03-27 11:27:27 by shemps#1
Beautiful looking technicolor and the beautiful Maria Montez make this great eye candy, but I don't think the film is that great from a plot stand point and I find Sabu to be quite annoying. Shemp and Billy Gilbert's comedy relief provide all the entertaining parts as far as I'm concerned.

Reviewer's Rating: (5)
Posted 2001-02-07 18:15:00 by sickdrjoe
Shemp (playing Sinbad!) and the great Billy Gilbert in one of the damndest things ever seen. One of Universal's bread-and-butter Jon Hall/Maria Montez/Sabu epics in the gaudiest Technicolor imaginable. Highly enjoyable and recommended! (Almost all the movies Shemp made for Universal in the early 40s are worth catching.)

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