From the Guilty Pleasure list comes this comedy of ancient Baghdad executive produced by Howard Hughes and starring Dale Robertson as the son of Sinbad and Vincent Price as poet/tent maker Omar Khayyam. Along the way you’ll see actress/dancer Sally Forrest and burlesque queen Lili St.Cyr. Of course they’re harem girls and do several dance numbers to the music of Victor Young. Rounding out the cast: girls,girls,girls. Voiceover artist Paul Frees makes a brief appearance in the beginning as a fortune teller that uses a crystal ball.
Omar warns Sinbad that the Khalif has offered a reward for his capture. He could care less and breaks into the harem for a little romance with number one girl Nerissa (Lili St.Cyr). Here comes the guards. Sinbad takes too much time quoting Omar’s poetry as if it were his own to slave girl Ameer (Sally Forrest). Awaiting sentencing in the Khalif’s (Leon Askin) court he sees a friend of his father, Simon Aristides. With him is his now all grown up daughter Kristina (Mari Blanchard).
Sinbad and Omar are sentenced to the dungeon to await execution. The Khalif’s adviser Jiddah (Jay Novello) tells him he should meet with Murad (Ian MacDonald). He’s the ambassador to a Tartar that wants to invade Baghdad. He and his troops are waiting at the gates. Murad says he and his gang are taking over and want some entertainment to wile away the time. He leaves to inform his men.
The Khalif gets a demonstration in private of Simon’s Greek Fire that can destroy the invading army. From behind a wall Jiddah and Murad look on. So does Ameer. After a successful demonstration the Khalif agrees to free Sinbad and Omar. Kristina confides to Ameer that she wants to marry Sinbad in the morning. In spite of her jealousy, Ameer delivers the message to Sinbad about his reprieve.
When she gets back to Kristina’s chamber the girl is gone, guards are dead and Simon has a knife in his heart. The chemicals for the formula are also missing. She sends a message via carrier pigeon to the descendants of the brotherhood of the forty thieves. In the morning Sinbad and Omar find out their execution is still on. They manage to fight their way to the Khalif’s court and make a deal.
Jiddah overhears the plan and informs Murad. In the desert Sinbad and Omar are joined by Ameer. She tells them Murad and his men are disguised as a caravan of merchants. Sinbad has an idea of how to rescue Kristina. It’s a close call but he pulls it off. The forty thieves raid the camp and get the chemicals. Sinbad, Omar and Kristina get to the thieves cave. Now we find out who Sesame is.
The movie is a lot of fun with some one liners from Price that show off his comedic talent. There’s even what may be the world’s first pole dance from Forrest. The movie avoids falling into silliness and stays entertaining all the way through. If you’re looking for some unexpected fun give this one a look. Vincent Price is just great.
Leon Askin appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows. He’s most remembered as General Albert Burkhalter in “Hogan’s Heroes” (1965-71).