Prisoners of the Casbah


1h 18m 1953

Brief Synopsis

A typical Sam Katzman sand-and-sandals saga that is better than his later "Harem Scarum" only because this one doesn't have Elvis Presley. Gloria Grahame is the princess, Turhan Bey is the Captain of the Guard and Cesar Romero is the oily villain who has his sights set on Gloria and her father's throne. Romero and his henchmen cause Gloria, disguised as a boy (what a waste!), and Turhan to flee to the Casbah, where they plot to strike back at Romero.

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Esskay Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Returning home from a long trip abroad, the Emir of Algiers summons Ahmed, his captain of the guard, and offers to appoint him his successor if he agrees to marry the Emir's daughter, Princess Nadja. Ahmed refuses, for despite the princess' great beauty, her haughty temper is well known throughout the land. Nadja also rejects the proposal, hoping instead to be betrothed to the vizier, Firouz, who, unknown to the others, is planning to overthrow the Emir. The vizier intends to have his henchmen attack the Emir's camp, kidnap Nadja and demand a ransom, then rescue the princess, thereby earning the Emir's gratitude, his daughter's hand and, eventually, the throne. Despite Firouz's orders, however, the Emir is shot down during the attack. Before dying the Emir instructs his daughter to change into a harem girl's clothes, and asks for Ahmed's pledge to protect Nadja. Firouz' henchmen, Ayub and Abdullah, overpower Ahmed, and despite Nadja's garb, Abdullah recognizes her. That night Ahmed tricks a guard and breaks free, then takes a protesting Nadja and flees into the city, where he seeks refuge in the Casbah, a haven for thieves and criminals. Abdullah lies to Firouz about their muddled mission, explaining that Nadja was also killed with the Emir and advising that, because Ahmed is the next in line for succession, he should be slain. As only criminals can enter the Casbah, Firouz summons the crooked merchant Selim for assistance. Meanwhile in the Casbah, Ahmed attempts to convince Marouf, the prince of thieves, that he and Nadja, who assumes the name Yasmin, are thieves and have the right to protection. When Selim arrives with Firouz' offer of a large reward for Ahmed, the occupants of Casbah respond excitedly, until Ahmed promises to provide them with all the gold in the palace treasury. Marouf's girl friend Soura, suspicious of Ahmed and jealous of Nadja's beauty, insists that the pair marry to cool Marouf's interest. Despite Nadja's protests, Ahmed agrees, believing it will help him protect the reckless princess. While a large celebration ensues, Ahmed receives Marouf's approval to take several men to steal the palace gold. As the Casbah is surrounded by Firouz' guards, Ahmed and the men dig a tunnel to sneak out. Once in the palace, Ahmed leads the men to the treasury, then creates a diversion with Firouz and his guards to allow the thieves to escape with their plunder. When Ahmed and the men return to the Casbah, their success stirs the residents to name Ahmed the new prince of thieves. Angered, Marouf gains an audience with Firouz and, upon seeing a portrait of Nadja, informs the new Emir that she is alive and married to Ahmed. Furious over Ahmed's boldness, Firouz demands Nadja's return and Ahmed's death. Marouf and the palace guard attack Ahmed and when he is revived by Soura, she tells him that Marouf has returned Nadja to the palace. Ahmed then forces Selim to help him. At the palace, Nadja is outraged that Firouz has declared himself Emir and refuses to marry him, insisting she is already married to Ahmed. Selim then arrives with a message from Ahmed declaring he will gladly divorce Nadja for a large sum of money, but the transaction must be made in person, inside the Casbah. Despite misgivings, Firouz agrees. Marouf gets Firouz and Nadja inside the Casbah, only to be knifed by the thieves for his betrayal. Ahmed then orders an attack upon Firouz, who tries to escape with Nadja. Ahmed corners Firouz and at sword point demands he inform Nadja of his complicity in her father's murder. Firouz and Ahmed battle each other and Ahmed is ultimately victorious. After Nadja pleads for Ahmed's forgiveness, and admits her love for him, the two decide to remain married.

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Esskay Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Reviews, onscreen credits and copyright information indicate the film was released in Technicolor, but the print viewed was in black and white.