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Kismet (1944 film)

Kismet
Kismet (1944).jpg
Directed by William Dieterle
Produced by Everett Riskin
Written by Edward Knoblock
John Meehan
Starring Ronald Colman
Cinematography Charles Rosher
Edited by Ben Lewis
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
August 22,1944
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Kismet is a 1944 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film in Technicolor starring Ronald Colman, Marlene Dietrich, Joy Page, and Florence Bates. James Craig played the young Caliph of Baghdad, and Edward Arnold was the treacherous Grand Vizier. It was directed by William Dieterle, but was not a success at the box office. Dieterle had directed Marlene two decades prior in the German silent film Man by the Wayside, which was both the first role in which Dietrich was cast competitively and Dieterle's directorial debut.

The film is based on the play of the same name by Edward Knoblock, which was also the basis for a 1953 musical. The play had been filmed three times before, in 1914, 1920, and again in 1930 by Warner Brothers in an English version directed by John Francis Dillon and in a German-language version directed by William Dieterle.

The story takes place "when old Baghdad was new and shiny", in an Arabian Nights atmosphere. Colman plays Hafiz, a middle-aged beggar and magician who parades about as the King of Beggars during the day, and as the Prince of Hassir during the night. As the Prince of Hassir he meets Lady Jamilla (Dietrich), the Queen of the Grand Vizier's harem, who knows he is a poseur but is fascinated by him.

Meanwhile, the young Caliph (James Craig) disguises himself as the "son of the Royal Gardener", and roams the streets of Baghdad to learn about his subjects firsthand, despite at the disapproval of his trusted adviser Agha (Harry Davenport). During his sojourns, he meets and falls in love with Marsinah, Hafiz's daughter. Unknowingly on another sojourn, he meets the "Prince of Hassir" and is amused by his magic tricks, specifically the one where Hafiz draws a knife from handkerchiefs.



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