Friday, December 27, 2019

By the Gods!

Princess Fazia (Elaine Stewart) is confronted by the Great Banah (Amanda Blake) while Hajji Baba (John Derek) watches on in THE ADVENTURES OF HAJJI BABA (1954)

An early entry in the CinemaScope / Sword & Sandal / PEPLUM movies, this colourful adventure has everything: great looking cast, excellent (and familiar Californian) locations, excellent production, memorable song (sung by Nat King Cole which is heard throughout the movie), etc. The one thing it lacks is a good story. Don't get me wrong. It's a fun movie but the barely there story is barely able to keep my attention. This scene happens 49 minutes or so into the 90 minutes long movie and I already had enough. The characters or situations are not compelling enough. I like it. I'm just not crazy about it. Both Elaine and John would go to Italy to make the same type of movie. In fact, this one looks a lot like a PEPLUM movie from Europe.

An ALLIED ARTISTS PICTURES production with financing from 20th CENTURY FOX (AA got domestic gross while FOX got overseas grosses). FOX also helped with the CinemaScope process.

These screenshots are taken from an HD copy and the movie looks amazing. The cinematography is excellent, as these screenshots show. Aside from some grain here and there, the image is remarkable pristine and clear. Many titles are now finally coming out in HD and I'm glad for this new trend.

1 comment:

Scott Ochiltree said...

Amanda Blake's role in attaching former male lovers to crosses so that they died of thirst makes her a very unsympathetic character.

This is not really compatible with the semi-comic nature of much the film.