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Antar is sent by Suleiman, head of the Ottoman Empire, to Bagdad to prevent Hammam, Pasha of Bagdad, from purchasing the services of local leader Mustapha to unite the hill tribes and overthrow the emperor. The intrigue mounts as Antar falls in love with dancer Selima, who tries to avenge her father's death against Hammam's right-hand man Kasseim, whose wife Rosanna has fallen in love with Antar.Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
Treachery lurks in Bagdad for Suleiman the Magnificent
Dashing Victor Mature all decked out in Middle eastern attire plays Antar, a confidential agent of Suleiman the Magnificent sent to investigate and put down a brewing insurrection in the Empire stemming from Bagdad. There the ruling Pasha is planning a revolution and he's taxing the people dry to pay for some freebooting desert tribes to join his movement.
In the meantime Victor Mature has gathered his own group of Merry Men to join him and you would have to be quite blind to not see the parallels with the Robin Hood saga transposed to the Middle East. The sheriff of Nottingham in the piece is Guy Rolfe and that's only right I suppose is Guy Rolfe who was Prince John in Ivanhoe. Rolfe is always a great villain as he was in that film and in this one. He's got a wife with a roving eye played by Virginia Field who Mature woos as part of his overall plan. And there's dancing girl Mari Blanchard with her own agenda regarding Rolfe.
The pasha stirring all this trouble up is Leon Askin who commits the horrible sin of trying to make a deal with the Venetian Republic. Mature speaking for his employer is aghast at the prospect.
This part really got to me because in history Suleiman the Magnificent had no problem at all in dealing with unbelievers. His main foreign policy concern was his battle with the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and to try and keep him in check made an alliance with the Kingdom of France and its King Francis I. Among other things Toulon was practically a Moslem naval base. In real life you take your allies as you find them. But Mature's horror at what Askin was doing threw me for a bit.
Usually Universal would cast Rock Hudson, Jeff Chandler, or Tony Curtis of their contract stable for these Middle Eastern epics. Why they brought Mature in is beyond me because this is nothing special as regard to product from that studio. Still Vic's fans will be pleased.
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