6.4/10
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Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937)

Passed | | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical | 29 October 1937 (USA)
A movie company is doing the Arabian Nights when a hobo enters their camp, falls asleep and dreams he's back in Baghdad as advisor to the Sultan. In a spoof of Rosevelt's New Deal, he ... See full summary »

Director:

David Butler

Writers:

Harry Tugend (screen play), Jack Yellen (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Cantor ... Ali Baba
Tony Martin ... Yusuf / Tony Martin
Roland Young ... Sultan
June Lang ... Princess Miriam / June Lang
Gypsy Rose Lee ... Sultana / Louise Hovick (as Louise Hovick)
Raymond Scott and His Quintet Raymond Scott and His Quintet ... Raymond Scott Quintete
John Carradine ... Ishak / Broderick
Virginia Field ... Dinah
Alan Dinehart ... Boland
Douglass Dumbrille ... Prince Musah (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Maurice Cass Maurice Cass ... Omar - The Rug Maker
Warren Hymer ... Tramp
Stanley Fields ... Tramp
Paul Hurst ... Captain
Sam Hayes Sam Hayes ... Radio Announcer
Edit

Storyline

A movie company is doing the Arabian Nights when a hobo enters their camp, falls asleep and dreams he's back in Baghdad as advisor to the Sultan. In a spoof of Rosevelt's New Deal, he organizes work programs, taxes the rich and abolishes the army. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nuits d'Arabie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Color:

Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Newsreel footage of the many stars appearing at the Carthay Circle Theatre premiere of Wee Willie Winkie (1937) is used for the film's finale. See more »

Goofs

The story is set in tenth-century Baghdad but reference is made to the sultan's being the ruler of Arabia. Baghdad is in Iraq or, as it would have been known then, Mesopotamia. See more »

Quotes

Ali Baba: Excuse me, who are these fellows? They're not even listening!
Sultan: They're my new musicians from Africa.
Ali Baba: Africa?
[to musicians]
Ali Baba: What part of Africa?
Sultan: I'm afraid they don't understand you. You see, they talk a strange tongue.
Ali Baba: [to musicians] Parlez-vous Français?
[No response]
Ali Baba: Se hable espanol? Capisce italian'?
[No response]
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some prints also include Tony Martin singing, and June Lang dancing, "I've Got My Heart Set on You", making for a running time closer to 81 minutes than 77 minutes in the edited versions. See more »

Connections

Version of Ali Baba (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Arabania
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Revel
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Raymond Scott and His Quintet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Eddie Cantor and the Peters Sisters
23 March 2015 | by drednmSee all my reviews

Bright musical comedy with Eddie Cantor as a hobo who wanders onto a movie set and gets hired as an extra. He falls asleep and dreams he's back in ancient Bagdad.

In ancient Bagdad he's taken as a relative of Ali Baba and gets involved in the palace intrigue where the Sultana (Gypsy Rose Lee as Louise Hovick) and her allies are plotting to overthrow the Sultan (Roland Young). Cantor cracks an endless stream of one-liners about Roosevelt's "New Deal," which of course no one understands. The plot then has Cantor running for president against the Sultan. But it's all a dream.

The two show stoppers are the extended "Swing Is Here to Sway" with Cantor joined by dancer Jeni Le Gon and the fabulous Peters Sisters, and the "Twilight in Turkey" number by Raymond Scott and Quintet and danced by the Pearl Twins. Great stuff.

Co-stars include Tony Martin, June Lang, John Carradine, Virginia Field, Alan Dinehart, Stanley Fields, Warren Hymer, and Lynn Bari as a harem girl. The Peters Sisters, Mattye, Anne, and Virginia, just about steal the show from Cantor, who discovered them at a local nightclub and put them right in his movie.

One of Cantor's best.


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