Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

Ali Baba et les quarante voleurs

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
4 & 7:30pm
Followed by a wine and beer reception
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Dir. Jacques Becker, 1954. 92 min. B&W. DCP.
With Fernandel, Samia Gamal, Dieter Borsche
In French and Arabic with English subtitles

This outlier in Jacques Becker’s filmography finds legendary French comedian Fernandel leading a dazzling adaptation of the tale of Ali Baba, with eye-popping colors, belly-dancing numbers, and displaced Marseille accents of a largely Provençal cast.

Known for his sophisticated Parisian comedies and atmospheric urban noirs, Becker’s turn to The Arabian Nights for inspiration with the constantly mugging Fernandel as its leading man was unexpected in the least, but the director embraced the challenge with brilliance, exquisitely choreographing an explosion of color and movement.

The 7:30pm screening will be introduced by Guillaume Boure from FIAF’s Film Department. Mr. Boure has previously worked in the field of film restoration in London, Venice and Udine (Italy).