director: Wilhelm Dieterle
years: 1930/ 1931
On the steps of a mosque in Baghdad, a young tourist discovers an inscription, which her guide translates into the following words: "Only what fate spins endures; what man plans is nothing but folly. Kismet Kasim." He then tells the tourist the story of the beggar, Kasim:
Kasim lives with his daughter from the charity of mosque visitors. He doesn't realise when the Caliph of Bagdad, disguised as a peasant, falls in love with his daughter, Miriam. When he accidentally stumbles upon a large sum of stolen money, he is accused of fraud and condemned to lose one hand. The power-hungry Wesir will only pardon him on condition that he kill the Caliph. Miriam, meanwhile, is kidnapped and placed in the Wesir's harem.
Kasim goes to carry out the murder plan but mistakingly targets the Caliph's friend instead of the Caliph himself.
The Caliph now sees the role being played by the Wesir in this dirty game. He avenges himself against his betrayer and frees Miriam from the harem. As the Caliph leads Miriam into the palace, Kasim learns that he has been pardoned.
Screenplay: Howard Estabrook, Karl Etlinger, Ulrich Steindorff; based on a screenplay by Edward Knoblock.
Director of Photography: Sid Hickox, John F. Seitz.
Set Design: Jack Okey.
Editing: Al Hall.
Cast: Karl Etlinger (Abu), Gustav Fröhlich (Kalif), Dita Parlo (Miriam, his daughter), Anton Pointner (Vizier), Wladimir Sokoloff (Kasim, a beggar).
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures Inc., Burbank/New York, for Deutsche First National Pictures GmbH (Defina), Berlin.
Producer: Henry Blanke (aka Heinz Blanke).
Studio: Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank.
Shoot: Nov to Dec 1930.
Length: 77 minutes, 2104 m (2240 m before censorship).
Format: 35 mm, 1:1.33.
Picture/Sound: b/w, Vitaphone.
Censorship details: 26 Feb 1931, B.28301, ban for young people; 18 Mar 1931, O.01957, ban for young people.
Première: 23 June 1931, Berlin (Marmorhaus).
Notes: German version of 'Kismet' (USA, 1930, dir. John Francis Dillon).
Adapted and enlarged from:
Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen
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