The Thief of Bagdad

Director: Ludwig Berger, Tim Whelan and Michael Powell
Year Released: 1940
Rating: 1.0

A cute premise filled with adventure and typical 'save-the-helpless-female' plot is ruined by terrible acting, terrible dialogue, and pathetically dated special effects that were considered impressive in the '40s, but today - the age of The Matrix and ILM - we're used to so much more. Fair king (John Justin) is unjustly usurped by magician Jafar and imprisoned with shirtless thief Abu (played by Sabu, who has about as much grace in front of the camera as a one-legged leper) who both plot to reclaim the kingdom. Meanwhile, there's a constantly-chuckling genie (and one of the funniest flying scenes you'll ever see), shoddy props (the genie's foot looks like it was made out of plaster and cheap paint, the 'mechanical' horse that gallops in a 45-degree direction), horrid line-reading with no verbal emphasis, lousy editing and Sabu's tic-like habit of incessantly rubbing/touching/fixing his hair. On a final note, you'll be surprised to know that Michael Powell was one of the three directors! Which, naturally, is the answer to the question, "How many people does it take to make a bad movie?"