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Sabu, the caliph's elephant boy, finds a ring which he need only rub to summon a hugh genie ready to answer his every wish. Strange adventures and many perils confront Sabu and Zumeela (Daria Massey)as they lose the magic spell when a goose swallows the ring.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
As a child I looked forward to watching the movies Sabu made. In the earliest years of his career he made his classics and many of those have more than stood the tests of time.
Many don't know that during World War II, he served in the United States Army Air Corps and did so with distinction having won several awards for service above and beyond the call of normal duty. Being of a diminutive size he easily could fit in bomber aircraft tail and belly gun positions. When the war was over and he was discharged from the service, he wanted to return to the motion picture industry. Unfortunately, except for one superb film, Michael Powell's "Black Narcissus", most of the offerings were paltry. Audiences after the war, weren't very interested in his kind of escapism; jungle adventures were not so fascinating anymore. Still, Sabu pushed on and where he got the verve to do so, I cannot fathom except, perhaps, he felt there's got to be something more.
Eventually, he was approached by George Blair the producer/director who had made George Reeves "Adventures of Superman". He wanted Sabu to star in a television series that took place in a kind of Baghdad setting. Two pilots were shot for that series and this is what became "Sabu and the Magic Ring" when the TV show failed to become a series. Like the Superman series this one was also shot in color. The costar of it was William Marshall, he of the rich baritone voice who breathed life into the vampiric "Blacula". Here he played the genie who owned the titular "magic ring".
The plot was a kind of cheap Arabian pantaloon adventure, but it could in no way capture the days of Sabu's majestic 1940 masterpiece "The Thief of Baghdad". It amounted to a lot of running around in cardboard sets culminating in tired rehash. The movie made of this pastiche leaves much to be desired. Actually, it is a hair width's better than the other poorly pieced together Sabu flicks of this time, "Jungle Boy/Jungle Hell" which is two separate films sewn together from one picture.
After this time, Sabu only made a handful of films and died at the very young age of 39. For me, though, he will always be that smiling boy sailing through the azure skies on his flying carpet seeking ever greater adventures.
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