Hafiz, the King of Beggars, dons new garments and slips into the royal palace to woo his regal Lady while Bagdad's new Caliph posing as a gardener's son roams the city...and falls in love with a peasant girl who happens to be Hafiz's daughter.
Hafiz, the jovial King of Beggars, dons new garments and slips into the royal palace to woo his regal "Lady of the Moonlight." Meanwhile, Bagdad's new Caliph carries out his own masquerade, posing as a gardener's son and roaming the city...where he falls in love with a peasant girl who happens to be Hafiz's daughter. How will it all work out? It depends on the machinations of court intrigue and on fate - kismet.
As Hafiz, Ronald Colman is up to his turban in mischief in this often-filmed bauble of storytelling that would later give rise to a famed stage and movie musical. Critics of the day lauded Kismet's Technicolor virtuosity - not the least of which included gold-painted Marlene Dietrich in a sultry bit of Terpsichore.
ORIENTAL DREAM is the TV title for the 1944 Technicolor version of KISMET. Ronald Colman plays Hadji, "king of beggars" in the days of the Arabian Nights. Posing as a prince, Colman woos Marlene Dietrich, the favorite wife of the evil Wazir (Edward Arnold). Meanwhile, Colman's daughter Joy Ann Page falls in love with handsome Caliph James Craig--while the Wazir connives to get Page into his own harem. Several plot convolutions later, Colman ends up with Dietrich, Page winds up with Craig, and the Wazir winds up six feet under. KISMET was based on the war-horse stage play by Edward Knoblock, previously filmed in 1920 and 1930 with the play's original star Otis Skinner. The title ORIENTAL DREAM was bestowed upon the 1944 KISMET when it was remade as a musical in 1955. The earlier version had its musical moments as well, notably a delicious dance number spotlighting Dietrich, painted gold head from head to toe; an additional dance sequence was cut, but later showed up in the Abbott and Costello comedy LOST IN A HAREM (1944).
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