The Adventures of Hajji Baba Directed by Don Weis: a jpoc movie review
About what you would expect for a fifties B movie
Main Cast
John Derek Hajji Baba
Elaine Stewart Princess Fakzia
Thomas Gomez Osman Aga
Amanda Blake Banah
Paul Picerni (I) Nurel-Din
jpoc rating: Two out of ten.
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This movie is not readily available for purchase though some dealers who specialise in hard to get movies may be able to help. You might be interested in the book on which the film was based: "The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan" by James Morier
amazon.com Paperback Hardback
amazon.co.uk Paperback Hardback
viewing notes
We live in Germany and not many movies are shown in the original version so, when this popped up on late night cable in English we thought, what the heck, we'll watch.
jpoc review
We remember films from the fifties for two reasons. The exceptionally good and the excruciatingly bad all have their place in our memories. A movie like "The Adventures of Hajji Baba" matches neither criteria and it would probably sink without trace were it not for the occasional airing on late night cable stations which cannot afford to pay for proper content.

It has a plot. A comedy of errors leaves the dashing young traineee barber Hajji Baba with the task of secretly transporting the beautiful Princess Fakzia from her home in Ispahan to the court of Nurel-Din whom she has pledged to marry. The prince however, is really only interested in the military conquest of her father's city and the romantic conquest Banah the dancer. Once she reaches his court, she realises that she wants to marry the barber and the prince wants to marry the dancing girl.

On the way, they meet assorted unlikely characters, especially the Turkemen women who wear outfits that would count as risque in the fifties and who also wield swords and what appear to be puddings tied up in head scarves which are used like South American Bollas.

Despite its Persian setting, the film was shot entirely in the Californian desert and most of the characters look far more Californian than Middle Eastern. The actors manage to remember their lines but that's about all you can get from B movie actors who have given up on hopes of something better.

I cannot imagine why anyone would actually seek to watch this movie in the twentyfirst century and there seems to be little chance of it being widely released on DVD or tape. However, it was based on a book by a British diplomat and this is still available and has merits of its own.