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Lost in a Harem

Lost in a Harem(1944)

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In the mythical Arab city of Port Inferno, nightclub owner Ormulu makes a deal with American singer Hazel Moon to allow magicians Peter Johnson and Harvey Garvey to perform at the club if she agrees to meet with Prince Ramo, a seemingly ardent admirer. During that night's badly received show, however, Harvey inadvertently instigates a brawl, and he, Peter and Hazel are arrested and tossed into a jail cell with a deranged derelict. Still determined to meet Hazel, Ramo slips the Americans a loaf of bread with a saw baked inside it, and despite Harvey's repeated blunders, the entertainers manage to escape. The prince then takes the trio to his desert camp and there explains that his uncle, Nimativ, usurped his throne and is a cruel despot. Ramo asks Hazel for help in reclaiming his throne, and she consents on condition that Peter and Harvey, who once helped her when she was stranded, accompany her. After they arrive at Nimativ's palace in Barabeeha, Ramo reveals his plan to the Americans: The fair-haired Hazel is to distract his blonde-crazy uncle long enough for Peter and Harvey to steal the two rings with which Nimativ hypnotizes and controls his enemies. As hoped, Nimativ is immediately taken with Hazel, but when Harvey displays a blatant interest in Nimativ's rings, Nimativ becomes suspicious and hypnotizes all three. Nimativ forces them to reveal their mission and convinces Hazel that she wants to marry him. As he is leaving with Hazel, Nimativ calls Harvey and Peter "termites," and the two imprisoned men suddenly find themselves eating furniture. After Nimativ announces to his court that the next day, Hazel is to become his thirty-eighth wife, Ramo sneaks into her room and breaks her trance by pricking her with a pin. Although angry at Ramo for placing her in danger, Hazel, who is falling in love with the prince, agrees to help him by pretending that she is still hypnotized. Ramo then awakens Harvey and Peter from their trance, and the three men attempt to escape the palace. Ramo is captured, but by claiming to be Hollywood talent scouts, Harvey and Peter talk Bobo, a gargantuan guard, and Teema, Nimativ's first wife, into allowing them to hide in the palace harem. When Nimativ comes to search the harem, Teema, who is jealous of Hazel, feigns ignorance and steals Nimativ's key to Hazel's room. From his hiding place, Harvey then steals the key from Teema, but unthinkingly hands it back to Nimativ when he demands its return from Teema. Once again, the Americans flee, but are captured and thrown into the palace dungeon. Also imprisoned in the dungeon is the crazed derelict, who converses with and "kills" an imaginary friend named Mike. Noise from Mike's "murder" alerts Bobo, and still insisting they are talent scouts, Peter and Harvey once again talk the guard into letting them escape. Finding themselves in the royal clothes closet, the magicians then put on Nimativ's and Teema's clothes. Before they can sneak out, however, Nimativ catches them and attacks Peter, who knocks him out. While Nimativ is unconscious, Peter and Harvey steal his rings, then wake him up and hypnotize him, ordering him to give Ramo back his throne. Before Nimativ can act on the command, he is pricked by a thorn from a rose that Harvey has given him and awakens from his trance. Nimativ demands that Harvey and Peter be executed, but Bobo and Teema, who is also determined to go to Hollywood, conspire to stop the beheading by starting a harem show just as the executioner's ax is about to fall. During the ensuing commotion, Ramo swarms the palace with his men, and Nimativ is routed. After Peter and Harvey send Nimativ, who has been hypnotized into believing he is a dog, to the palace "kennel," Hazel makes plans to remain with a loving Ramo. Harvey and Peter are then chauffeured out of Barabeeha, but soon discover that their driver is the deranged derelict.