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Category Archives: classic movies

“Ballads – God Bless Our Love – Venture: 615 DJ”

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The Ballads were an American vocal group formed in 1961 in Oakland. Band members included Nathaniel Romerson, Jon Foster, Rico Thompson, and Lesley LaPalma.[1] The band had one hit single in 1968, entitled “God Bless Our Love”. This song reached #65 on the Billboard pop singles charts[2] and #8 on the R&B Singles charts.[3] This song was picked by WDIA program director Bill Thomas as a “Biggest Leftfield Happening” in Billboard’s programming aids.[4] The B side of this record was the song “My Baby Knows How to Love Her Man.” This record was released on Venture Records #615.[2]

Nathaniel “Nate” Romerson died April 22, 2013. He started the group in 1961, and he was also one of the back ground singers.

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“The Duprees – You belong to me”

“The Duprees – You belong to me”
The Duprees are an American musical group of doo-wop style who had a series of hit records in the early 1960s.

Career

The group was founded in the early 1960s in Jersey City, New Jersey, by William L. Dickinson High School students Michael Arnone, Joe Santollo, John Salvato, Tom Bialoglow, and lead singer Joey Canzano (later known as Joey Vann). George Paxton, a former big band leader was impressed by the group’s style and signed them to his Coed Records label. Their first single, “You Belong to Me“, had been a hit for Jo Stafford in 1952. The Duprees’ version was given a big band backing by Paxton and reached the US top ten in 1962.

The group had more top 40 hits in the next few years. “My Own True Love” was a vocal adaptation of “Tara’s Theme” from the soundtrack of Gone with the Wind and became the group’s second hit. “Have You Heard” and “Why Don’t You Believe Me” also reached the Top 40 charts and, like “You Belong to Me,” were originally early 1950s female vocal hits (Joni James, in this case). The group became known for mixing doo-wop vocals with big band arrangements. Tom Bialoglow left in 1963. Mike Kelly, who had recorded on the group’s original demos for George Paxton, replaced Joey Vann as lead vocalist in 1964, and formally left the group in 1977.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s they released an album under the name The Italian Asphalt & Pavement Company (or I. A. P. CO.), and had a minor hit called “Check Yourself.” Mike Arnone kept the group going into the 1980s with Richie Rosato on lead, Al Latta on baritone, Bob Leszczak on first tenor, Bobby Wells on keyboards, and Duane O’Hara on drums. This group lasted from 1981-83.

Joe Santollo died in 1981, Joey Vann died in 1984, and Mike Arnone died in 2005. John Salvato is a booking agent. Mike Kelly, who sang briefly with The Chaperones in 2006, died of cancer on August 7, 2012.

Tommy Bialoglow had his own group called Twilight Time and currently performs with Joe Zisa & Friends “Jersey Tribute”.

The Original Duprees (Joey Vann Canzano, Mike Kelly, John Salvato, Tom Bialoglow, Joe Santollo, and Mike Arnone) were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006.

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BRIGHT ROAD starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte

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Directed by Gerald Mayer
Written by Emmet Lavery
Mary Elizabeth Vroman
Starring Dorothy Dandridge
Philip Hepburn
Harry Belafonte
Barbara Ann Sanders
Music by David Rose
Cinematography Alfred Gilks
Edited by Joseph Dervin
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
April 17, 1953
Running time
69 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $377,000[1]
Box office $252,000[1]

Bright Road is a 1953 low-budget film adapted from the Christopher Award-winning short story “See How They Run” by Mary Elizabeth Vroman. Directed by Gerald Mayer and featuring a nearly all-black cast, the film stars Dorothy Dandridge as an idealistic first-year elementary school teacher trying to reach out to a problem student. The movie is also notable as the first feature film appearance by Harry Belafonte, who co-stars as the principal of the school.

Plot
Jane Richards (Dorothy Dandridge) is a new teacher, beginning her career at a rural African-American elementary school in Alabama. One of the students in her fourth-grade class is C.T. Young (Philip Hepburn), who, although bright and generally not a troublemaker, is nonetheless markedly uninterested in school and has become accustomed to taking two years to advance through each grade level. Miss Richards becomes determined to get through to C.T. and have her class be the first that does not take him two years to complete, though the school’s other teachers have given up on him as “a backward child”. The school’s principal (Harry Belafonte) also harbors his doubts about C.T., but he admires Miss Richards’ enthusiasm and endorses her efforts.

Miss Richards’ efforts with C.T. begin to pay dividends and his grades improve somewhat, but all of her progress with him seems to be undone when Tanya (Barbara Ann Sanders), another student in the class and C.T.’s closest friend, dies after being stricken with a viral pneumonia. Devastated at the loss, C.T. runs away from school for a time, and even upon his return, immediately starts a schoolyard fight. Insistence that he apologize for his actions causes him only to completely withdraw and isolate himself from his teacher and classmates. Frustrated and saddened, Miss Richards’ must return to giving C.T. the failing marks that had been his previous pattern.

One day, however, she overhears C.T. helping another student with arithmetic, revealing to her that despite his stubborn refusal to participate in class since returning to school, he has actually been continuing to learn. Seeing this demonstration of knowledge, she is heartened and quietly changes his most recent failing grade to an ‘A’. C.T.’s reintegration into the class is completed when he calmly handles a situation in which a swarm of bees invades the classroom, following the queen bee which had flown in. As the other students, and even Miss Richards, panic and swat at the bees, C.T. calmly collects the queen and carries it outside with the swarm following him.

The school year ends with the Miss Richards’ class observing a caterpillar emerge from its cocoon transformed into a butterfly. Miss Richards notes that it is reborn, “just as you and I will be born again someday, and everyone we’ve ever known or loved”, and that witnessing the butterfly’s first flight represents “a wonderful promise of things to come.” As he leaves to begin his summer vacation, C.T. offers Miss Richards a final validation of the time she had invested in him by stopping to tell her that he loves her.

<strong<Cast
Dorothy Dandridge – Jane Richards
Philip Hepburn – C.T. Young
Harry Belafonte – School Principal
Barbara Randolph – Tanya (as Barbara Ann Sanders)
Maidie Norman – Tanya’s Mother
Rene Beard – Booker T. Jones
Howard McNeeley – Boyd
Robert McNeeley – Lloyd
Patti Marie Ellis – Rachel Smith
Joy Jackson – Sarahlene Babcock
Fred Moultrie – Roger
James Moultrie – George
Carolyn Ann Jackson – Mary Louise
Vivian Dandridge – Miss Nelson

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2018 in 1950s, classic movies, nostalgic

 

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“Over The Mountain, Across The Sea – Johnnie & Joe”

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Johnnie & Joe were an American R&B vocal duo from The Bronx, who were best known for their 1957 hit “Over the Mountain; Across the Sea.”

Johnnie Louise Richardson (June 29, 1935, Montgomery, Alabama – October 25, 1988, New York City)[1] and Joe Rivers (March 20, 1937, Charleston, South Carolina[2]) began singing together in 1957 and released several singles on Chess Records,[3] which were leased from J & S Records, to whom the duo were under contract. Richardson was the daughter of the J&S label owner, Zelma “Zell” Sanders, who had been a touring member of The Hearts.[2]

Three of the songs hit the U.S. singles charts. “Over the Mountain, Across the Sea”, written by Rex Garvin, went to #3 on the R&B chart and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100,[4] and “I’ll Be Spinning”, written by Freddie Scott, went Top 10 R&B, both in 1957.[3][5] “My Baby’s Gone”, a #15 R&B hit, was their last,[3] although “Over the Mountain, Across the Sea” returned to the pop charts in 1960, peaking at #89 the second time around.[4]

Richardson and Rivers resumed their professional partnership later in the 1960s. During the 1970s and 80s they performed in oldies concerts, and made a critically acclaimed album, Kingdom of Love, in 1982.[6] Johnnie Richardson died of complications from a stroke in 1988.

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“Penny Serenade” starring Cary Grant”

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Penny Serenade is a 1941 film melodrama starring Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Beulah Bondi, and Edgar Buchanan. The picture was directed by George Stevens, written by Martha Cheavens and Morrie Ryskind, and depicts the story of a loving couple who must overcome adversity to keep their marriage and raise a child. Grant was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.

Plot
Applejack Carney pulls from a shelf an album of records entitled “The Story of a Happy Marriage” and places the song “You Were Meant for Me” on the Victrola. Julie Adams, Applejack’s old friend and owner of the album, asks him to turn off the tune and announces that she is leaving her husband Roger.

After glancing at the nursery, Julie restarts the song and remembers meeting Roger years earlier: The same ballad is playing over the loudspeakers at the Brooklyn music store where Julie works. When the record begins to skip, passerby Roger Adams enters the store and meets Julie. The two begin to date, and while at the beach one day, Julie breaks open a fortune cookie, which reads “you will get your wish –a baby.” Roger, a confirmed bachelor who has no patience with children, hides his fortune, which predicts a “wedding soon,” and replaces it with “you will always be a bachelor.”

Roger, a reporter, changes his mind, however, when he bursts into a New Year’s Eve party with the news that his paper is assigning him to a post in Japan and asks Julie to marry him that evening. Knowing that they will not see each other for three months until Roger can earn enough money for Julie’s passage to Japan, the newlyweds kiss goodbye in Roger’s train compartment. As they embrace, the train pulls out, and as a result, Julie stays in Roger’s compartment until the train stops the next morning.

Three months later, when Julie is reunited with Roger in Japan, she reports that she is pregnant. Julie becomes concerned for the future of her family when she learns that Roger has lavishly furnished their house by spending advances on his salary. Later, when Roger inherits a small sum of money and announces that he has quit his job so that they can travel the world, Julie, disturbed by her husband’s financial irresponsibility, goes upstairs to pack. At that moment, a violent earthquake strikes, demolishing the house and causing Julie to lose the baby.

Roger and Julie return to San Francisco, and while hospitalized there, Julie learns that she will never be able to have children. Roger tries to console her by telling her that he wants to settle down and buy a small town paper, but Julie responds that a baby is all she ever wanted. Soon after, Roger buys the Rosalia Courier Press , and the couple moves into the apartment above the newspaper office, which is equipped with a small nursery. Roger hires their friend Applejack to manage the paper, but despite their hard work, circulation remains low.

Two years later, while Roger is working late one night, Applejack encourages Julie to adopt a child, and when Roger returns home, Applejack prods him into agreeing to consider adoption. When Julie writes to the orphanage to request a two-year-old boy with curly hair and blue eyes, Mrs. Oliver, the administrator, interviews the prospective parents and later pays a surprise visit to their home. At first disapproving because the Adams house is a cluttered mess, Mrs. Oliver is charmed by the little nursery and tells Julie that a five-week-old baby girl is available for adoption. When Julie and Roger protest that they wanted a two-year-old boy, the age their own baby would have been, Mrs. Oliver assures them that this is the child for them. Roger and Julie consent to see the infant, and when Julie falls in love with the baby, Mrs. Oliver allows them to take her home for a one-year probation period.

One year later, as the time for the adoption hearing approaches, Mrs. Oliver visits the family to update her records. When Julie admits that the paper has gone out of business and that Roger has no income, Mrs. Oliver solemnly caps her pen. Steeling themselves to return their baby, whom they have named Trina, to the orphanage, Roger bundles up the infant and proceeds to the judge’s chambers. When the judge denies the adoption, Roger, near tears, begs to keep the little girl, pleading that she is like his own child. Moved by Roger’s plea, the judge relents and grants the adoption, prompting Julie cheerily to proclaim that nothing can take Trina from them now.

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Years pass, and Trina’s proud parents watch their daughter sing the echo to “Silent Night” in her school’s Christmas play. When Trina slips on a platform while onstage, she worries that she will not be allowed to play an angel in the play the following year.

The next Christmas, Mrs. Oliver receives a tragic letter from Julie, notifying her of Trina’s death after a sudden, brief illness. Julie confides that Roger is punishing himself for Trina’s fate and behaves like a stranger to her. At the Adams home, as Julie and Roger sit wordlessly in their living room, they hear a knock at the door. Julie answers it and finds a mother, frantic because her car is stalled and her son is due to perform in the school play. Julie and Roger offer to drive the mother and child to the play, and when the car arrives to the sound of children singing “Silent Night,” Roger gets out and proclaims that he never again wants to see anybody or anything that reminds him of Trina.

Julie’s thoughts return to the present, and she takes the record off the turntable just as Applejack climbs the stairs to deliver her train ticket. At that moment, Roger returns, despondent, but as he picks up Julie’s suitcase to drive her to the train station, the phone rings. It is Mrs. Oliver, calling to offer the couple a two-year-old boy, who is the image of the youngster they requested years earlier. Their faith and hope restored, Julie and Roger begin planning a new life with their son.

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IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE starring James Stewart and Donna Reed

George Bailey (James Stewart), Mary Bailey (Donna Reed), and their youngest daughter Zuzu (Karolyn Grimes)


Directed by Frank Capra
Produced by Frank Capra
Screenplay by
Frances Goodrich
Albert Hackett
Frank Capra
Based on “The Greatest Gift”
by Philip Van Doren Stern
Starring
James Stewart
Donna Reed
Lionel Barrymore
Thomas Mitchell
Henry Travers
Beulah Bondi
Ward Bond
Frank Faylen
Gloria Grahame
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Cinematography Joseph Walker
Edited by William Hornbeck
Production
company
Liberty Films
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures1
Release dates
December 20, 1946 (USA)
Running time
130 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3.18 million[N 1]
Box office $3.3 million (US rentals)[2][3]

It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra, based on the short story “The Greatest Gift”, which Philip Van Doren Stern wrote in 1939 and published privately in 1945.[4] The film is now among the most popular in American cinema and because of numerous television showings in the 1980s has become traditional viewing during the Christmas season.

The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers). Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born.

Despite initially performing poorly financially because of high production costs and stiff competition at the time of its release, the film has come to be regarded as a classic.[5][6] Theatrically, the film’s break-even point was $6.3 million, approximately twice the production cost, a figure it never came close to achieving in its initial release. An appraisal in 2006 reported: “Although it was not the complete box office failure that today everyone believes … it was initially a major disappointment and confirmed, at least to the studios, that Capra was no longer capable of turning out the populist features that made his films the must-see, money-making events they once were.”[7]

It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most acclaimed films ever made, praised particularly for its writing. It was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made,[4] placing number 11 on its initial 1998 greatest movie list, and number one on AFI’s list of the most inspirational American films of all time.[8] Capra revealed that the film was his personal favorite among those he directed, adding that he screened it for his family every Christmas season.[9]

Plot

Donna Reed as Mary Bailey and James Stewart as George Bailey
On Christmas Eve 1945, in Bedford Falls, George Bailey is suicidal. Prayers for him reach Heaven, where Clarence Odbody, Angel 2nd Class, is assigned to save George in order to earn his angel wings. To prepare, Clarence is shown shows flashbacks of George’s life. The first is in 1919, when 12-year-old George saves his younger brother Harry, who falls through the ice on a frozen pond, from drowning; George losing his hearing in one ear as a result. While working after school at the local drug store, he noticed that his boss Mr. Gower had accidentally poisoned a prescription after becoming drunk following the news of his son’s death.

On Harry’s graduation night in 1928, George talks to Mary Hatch, who has had a crush on him from an early age. They are interrupted by news of his father’s death. George postpones his travel plans in order to sort out the family business, Bailey Brothers’ Building and Loan, a longtime adversary to Henry F. Potter, the local banker and the richest man in town. Potter wishes to dissolve the Building and Loan to take over its business. George convinces the board of directors to vote against Potter. They agree, on condition that George succeeds his father and runs the business, along with his absent-minded uncle Billy. George and Mary get married. On their way to their honeymoon, they witness a run on the bank and use their holiday savings to lend financial support at the Building and Loan until the bank reopens.

Over time George builds Bailey Park, an estate which offers affordable housing to people who would otherwise have to live in Potter’s overpriced slums. Potter, frustrated at losing control of the housing market, attempts to lure George into becoming his assistant; George is momentarily tempted, but rejects the offer.

During World War II, George is ineligible for service because of his bad ear. Harry becomes a Navy pilot and shoots down a kamikaze plane that would have bombed an amphibious transport; he is awarded the Medal of Honor. On Christmas Eve morning 1945, the town prepares a hero’s welcome for Harry. Uncle Billy goes to Potter’s bank to deposit $8,000 for the Building and Loan. He brags to Potter about Harry; the banker angrily grabs the newspaper, inside of which is the $8,000 – unbeknown to Uncle Billy. Realizing the potential scandal would lead to the Building and Loan’s downfall, Potter secretly hides the money. When Uncle Billy cannot find the money, he and George frantically search for it. When the bank examiner arrives to review their records, Uncle Billy panics. George berates his uncle for endangering the Building and Loan, goes home and takes out his frustration on his family. He apologizes to his frightened wife and children, then leaves.

George with his guardian angel Clarence
When the bank examiner arrives to review their records, George desperately appeals to Potter for a loan. When George claims a life insurance policy as collateral, Potter says George is worth more dead than alive and orders a warrant for his arrest. George gets drunk at a local bar and is involved in a fight; he leaves and goes to a nearby bridge to commit suicide. Before he can jump, Clarence leaps in the river in order for George to rescue him. George does not believe Clarence’s subsequent claim to be his guardian angel.

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When George says he wishes he had never been born, Clarence grants his unintentional request, creating an alternate timeline in which George never existed: Bedford Falls is now named Pottersville and is a less homely place. Mr. Gower has recently been released from prison for manslaughter, because George was not there to stop him putting poison in the pills. The Building and Loan has closed down, as George never took over after Mr. Bailey’s passing; George’s friends still exist in this reality.

George’s mother does not recognize him; she reveals that Uncle Billy was institutionalized after the collapse of the Building and Loan. In the cemetery where Bailey Park would have been, George discovers the grave of his brother. Clarence tells him the soldiers on the transport all died, as Harry was never there to save them, as George had never saved Harry from drowning. Mary never married; when George says he is her husband, she screams for the police, causing George to flee and the local policeman to give chase.

George runs back to the bridge and begs for his life back; the alternate timeline changes back to the original reality. George runs home to await his arrest. Mary and Uncle Billy arrive, having rallied the townspeople, who donate more than enough to cover the missing $8,000 and for Potter’s warrant to be torn up. Harry arrives and toasts George. A bell on the Christmas tree rings, and his daughter recalls the story that it means an angel has just earned his wings, signifying Clarence’s promotion.

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Posted by on November 24, 2017 in classic film star, classic movies

 

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“Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Official Trailer #1 – Andy Devine Movie (1944) HD” 

“Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Official Trailer #1 – Andy Devine Movie (1944) HD” 

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is a 1944 adventure film starring Maria Montez and Jon Hall, and directed by Arthur Lubin. The film is derived from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights but its story departs greatly from the tale of the same name and includes an actual historic event. The film is one of series of “exotic” tales released by Universal during the war years; others include Cobra WomanArabian Nights and White Savage.[2]

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
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The story begins in the immediate aftermath of the successful Mongolian conquest of Bagdad by Hulagu Khan(Kurt Katch). The caliph Hassan (Moroni Olsen) has escaped captivity, together with his young son Ali (Scotty Beckett), and prepares to regroup the renmants of his troops. While staying at the mansion of Prince Cassim (Frank Puglia), Ali and Cassim’s daughter Amara (Yvette Duguay), fearing that they will not see each other again, betroth themselves via blood-bond.

As the caliph prepares to leave, Cassim stops him at the last moment. This, however, is the initiation for an ambush by the Mongols, to whom the cowardly prince has sworn allegiance; the caliph and his retinue are massacred, and only Ali escapes. Alone and lost in the desert, he comes across a mountainside where he sees a group of riders exiting a hidden cave. Deducing its opening phrase, he enters the cave and finds it filled with treasure. When the 40 thieves return, they find the boy asleep in their hideout. Upon learning that he is the son of the caliph, and impressed by his courage and determination, the thieves allow him to stay, and their leader, Old Baba (Fortunio Bonanova), adopts him as his son, Ali Baba.

Ten years later, the band of thieves have become a group of Robin Hood-style resistance fighters, raiding the Mongols and giving to their poor and downtrodden people. One day, they learn of a caravan bearing the new bride for the Khan to Bagdad, which seems to be rich pickings because it is apparently only loosely guarded. However, Ali Baba, now a grown man (Jon Hall), is suspicious and decides to scout the caravan first, along with his ‘nanny’ Abdullah (Andy Devine). The bride turns out to be Amara (Maria Montez), Cassim’s daughter, who is to be wed to the Khan in order to solidify Cassim’s somewhat shaky standing with the Mongols.

In the meantime, Amara decides to take a bath in the oasis, where Ali encounters her (they do not recognize each other, however). Taking her for a mere servant girl and passing himself off as a traveller, he asks her about the caravan, then more about herself. But then it turns out that the caravan is in fact heavily guarded; Ali is ambushed and captured, while Abdullah narrowly escapes. Upon learning that the ‘servant girl’ is the bride of the Khan (her name is not mentioned), Ali curses her for her supposed treachery. Hurt by his words and in growing admiration for him and his cause, she asks her servant and bodyguard, Jamiel (Turhan Bey), who hero-worships the 40 thieves, to give Ali some water for the trip.

In Bagdad, Ali is presented to the Khan, though he is not recognized as the leader of the 40 Thieves, and bound to a pillory in the palace square for public execution the next day. Cassim visits him in private and discovers Ali’s true identity, but keeps the knowledge to himself. Soon afterwards, the thieves mount a rescue, but Old Baba is mortally wounded; Amara, who went to see Ali to clear the misunderstanding between them, is kidnapped, and Jamiel personally cuts Ali loose from his bonds. The thieves retreat into Mount Sesame.

The next day, the thieves capture Jamiel, who was tracking them. Ali recognizes him as a friend, and Jamiel, who swears allegiance to Ali Baba, is assigned as a spy in the palace. His first task is to deliver a ransom note to the Khan: in exchange for his bride, Hulagu Khan is to surrender the traitor Cassim. The thieves proceed to Cassim’s mansion to await the traitor’s arrival. When Amara walks into the garden, Ali recognizes her as his lost love, and with his re-awakened feelings for her he decides to release her without waiting for her father. This initially arouses the anger of his band, but they still remain loyal to him.

When Amara returns to Bagdad, her father confesses Ali’s true identity to her and the Khan. Hulagu Khan decides to hold the wedding immediately; Amara refuses, but the sight of her father being tortured (actually, a ruse) forces her to give in. Jamiel brings the news to Ali, who decides to free his love. In order to reach the palace unnoticed, he devises the plan to pose as a merchant from Basra who brings forty huge jars of oil as a wedding gift. Jamiel returns to the palace to relay the plan to Amara, but they catch one of her servants eavesdropping. The girl then relays the news to Cassim and the Khan, who decide to welcome Ali in a fitting manner.

At the wedding day, Ali does appear as the merchant and is admitted as a guest. During an interlude, sword dancers appear, who first perform their routine and then suddenly plunge their weapons through the jar covers – but the jars contain only sand. Upon discovering the exposure of the original plan, Ali had decided to make a few changes: most of the thieves came disguised in the crowd; some others were hidden in jars which were not brought before the Khan.

Hulagu Khan kills Cassim for his failure and announces Ali’s execution, but then Jamiel opens the revolt by dispatching Ali’s guards with his throwing knives. While the thieves attack the palace guards, he and Amara open the gates for the mob, which storms in and overpowers the Mongols. Hulagu Khan is killed by Abdullah while preparing to finish Ali, and as a sign of victory Jamiel hoists the Arabian flag atop the palace’s highest tower.

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Posted by on November 14, 2017 in adventure, classic movies

 

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