Travis McClain’s review published on Letterboxd:
Earlier in the week, I made plans to hang out with a friend of mine today. I'm still learning her movie taste. I knew she enjoyed fantasy/adventure series like Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean, so I thought of The Thief of Bagdad. I saw it first a couple of years ago for one of the DVD Talk Criterion Challenges and thoroughly enjoyed it. The rear-projection effects are laughable, but there are some genuinely impressive things that have held up quite well.
My friend did laugh at several parts of the movie, but mostly just at the aforementioned special effects that don't seem particularly special anymore 73 years later. When it was over, she nodded and said she liked it, but there wasn't a lot of enthusiasm. It's a trial-and-error process, learning someone's taste in film.
The Thief of Bagdad Re-Ranked on My Flickchart (#210/1510)
The Thief of Bagdad > Clerks. --> #210
I enjoy both of these. Clerks. isn't just a movie; it's an ambassador of an entire subculture to the world. Still, I really admire the ambition of The Thief of Bagdad. It wins.
The Thief of Bagdad > The Green Hornet --> #210
I actually did like The Green Hornet, though admittedly it wasn't the movie I hoped it would be. Still, this is an easy win for The Thief of Bagdad, which is a whole lot of fun.
The Thief of Bagdad < Starship Troopers --> #210
I really enjoy the fun and scale of The Thief of Bagdad, but Starship Troopers and its scathing commentary on the military-industrial complex is even more poignant today than in 1997. Its effects have aged a lot better, too.
The Thief of Bagdad < Watchmen --> #283
The Thief of Bagdad is more fun, and I'm not at all an Alan Moore fanboy but I do respect Watchmen and its social commentaries. Zack Snyder's director's cut was quite satisfying.
The Thief of Bagdad < Star Trek: Insurrection --> #330
It took me nearly a decade, but I finally decided I enjoy Star Trek: Insurrection. The Thief of Bagdad, I enjoyed immediately...but not quite as much as Insurrection.
The Thief of Bagdad < Patriot Games --> #354
The Thief of Bagdad is a great adventure story, and I absolutely love the genie, but Patriot Games is the only Jack Ryan movie so far that I completely enjoy.
The Thief of Bagdad < Sister My Sister --> #366
I quite like The Thief of Bagdad and its old school adventurism, but there's an emotional rawness and desperation in Sister My Sister that's as compelling as it is unflinching.
The Thief of Bagdad < Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show --> #366
Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show is probably my favorite stand-up comedy documentary, but I give the nod here to the delightful and ambitions Thief of Bagdad.
The Thief of Bagdad < Lilo & Stitch --> #369
I got a kick out of both of these. Lilo is a far stronger female character than is The Princess in The Thief of Bagdad, though, plus there's Elvis. Lilo & Stitch gets the nod.
The Thief of Bagdad < The Fifth Element --> #370
The Thief of Bagdad isn't as intriguing as The Fifth Element, but it's lighter and easier to enjoy. The Fifth Element's special effects still dazzle, though; unfair as that may be with a 57 year gap between the two..
The Thief of Bagdad < Teeth --> #371
I respect the ambition and scale of The Thief of Bagdad; it's still an impressive spectacle 73 years later. That said, I think I favor the originality and dark playfulness of Teeth. Plus, star Jess Weixler is a fellow Louisvillian.
The Thief of Bagdad was re-ranked on my Flickchart to #371/1510