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Arabian Nights

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Arabian Nights

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
Unrated
runtime:
175 minutes
performer:
Milia Vital, Dougray Scott
director:
Steve Barron
distributor:
Artisan Entertainment
author:
Peter Barnes
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
Drama

We gave it an A-

As a master weaver of tales informs his talented acolyte, the key to telling a good yarn is ”you begin at the beginning, go on to the end, then stop.” And it is with that simple, surefooted credo in mind that director Steve Barron and writer Peter Barnes mount the vibrant, nearly seamless made-for-ABC miniseries version of the classic 1,001 Arabian Nights, Arabian Nights. Young Scheherezade (Avital) volunteers to marry her insane sultan (Scott) with the full knowledge that she’ll be killed on her wedding night. To stay the executioner’s hand, she tells her husband a different story each night — but saves the conclusion until the following eve. Some tales will be familiar — ”Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves,” ”Aladdin and the Lamp” (with Jason Scott Lee as Aladdin and John Leguizamo as twin genies) — while others may be new discoveries, but they’re all rendered with such effects-laden exuberance that the three-hour running time floats by as if on a flying carpet. A-

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