<em>The Adventures of Hajji Baba</em>. 1954. USA. Directed by Don Weis. Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art Film Stills Archive
  • The Adventures of Hajji Baba

    1954. USA. Don Weis. 94 min.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011, 4:00 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

  • The Adventures of Hajji Baba

    1954. USA. Directed by Don Weis. Screenplay by Richard Collins. With John Derek, Elaine Steward, Thomas Gomez. A long-lost gem of glorious 1950s CinemaScope, this racy Orientalist fantasy in the tradition of The Thief of Bagdad features Nat King Cole’s “Persian Lament,” the theme song written by Dmitiri Tiomkin, which sets an appropriate tone of erotic, exotic longing. Based on an 1828 adventure story that delighted Henry James as a young boy, Hajji Baba was praised with reckless abandon as one of the 50 greatest films in the history of cinema by the MacMahonist cinephiles who frequented the auteurist Parisian theater near Étoile in the 1950s and 1960s. In this tale of mistaken identities and reversals of fortune, a barber’s son escorts a Princess across the desert to meet her betrothed, and romances her along the way as they elude torture, temptation, and former harem girls-turned-sword-brandishing bandits. Preserved by Twentieth Century Fox. 94 min.