Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1918)

Genres - Children's/Family, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Children's Fantasy  |  
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Yes, this is the classic Arabian Nights story, with Ali Baba discovering the treasure in the cave that opens to the magic words, "Open Sesame." But there's a twist here -- all the roles from Ali Baba (George Stone) to his beloved, dancing girl Morgianna (Gertrude Messinger) to Abdulla (Raymond Nye) are played by children. And yes, tiny Gertrude Messinger performed a hootchie-koo dance. Fox filmed a series of classic stories, such as Jack and the Beanstalk and Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, with kiddie actors, in the hopes of grabbing the child audience. Even in the days of their original release, they were curios. Sidney A. Franklin, who later went on to a distinguished career at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer directed this picture. It is likely that he did not keep it on his resume.

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child, magic