Les Mille et une nuits (1990) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Frankly, I don't get the marketing concept behind this movie. It is a silly adaptation of the 1001 Nights stories, basically a kids' movie filled with bright colors, cheesy theatrical sets, a time-traveling genie, and plenty of silly anachronisms. At one point, for example, the genie rescues Sheherazade with a helicopter. In another scene, Sheherazade and the genie are watching the first moon landing on TV in modern England.

"OK, so what is so weird about that?", you wonder. "It's a colorful, silly kids' movie, like Aladdin, right?"

Not exactly. I'd have no problem recommending that you show it to the kids, except that it's filled with T&A. Well, that and the fact that it's in French. Now that I think about it, maybe T&A is required in French kids' flicks. The nudity is all harmless, non-sexual stuff. Sheherazade falls from the sky naked and the wind blows off her clothing. That kind of stiff. There's some sexual tease, but there are no sex scenes at all. I can't even recall any kissing, to tell you the truth.

So I don't really know what to tell you in terms of a recommendation. The movie is too silly for adults and too naked for kids; it is entirely in French with no translation or sub-titles available; and it is overpriced.

In other words it is for nobody.

There is one group I might recommend it to: Catherine Zeta-Jones fans. Zeta played Sheherazade. It was her first movie appearance of any kind, and she was only 20 years old. Well, in theory. That age calculation assumes that her official bio has an accurate birth date, a risky assumption for any actress. Whatever her age at the time, the point is that Catherine Zeta-Jones was young and ripe and naked in this movie, so you can see that if you are willing to pay $85 to own a cheesy French Aladdin movie.


Catherine Zeta Jones shows her breasts and buns in several scenes

  • Buns (thong) as she does a seductive dance
  • Breasts when she falls from a plane
  • Buns as she lands
  • One breast after she lands
  • an escaped nipple as she sails
  • a see-through top when she is caught in a storm at sea
  • a tiny seashell bikini

Some topless women are seen in the Sheik's seraglio.

DVD Info:

 This film is not available on a Region 1 DVD, and is not available on a VHS video tape.

There is a French Region 2 DVD, however. It is an excellent two-disk set filled with lots of features and a beautiful rendering of the film itself. That's the good news. There is also quite a bit of bad news: (1) It is not an all-region DVD. It is a dedicated Region 2 disc. (2) The film and all the special features are in French. The disc offers no additional languages or subtitles. (3) The price is exorbitant ($85).

The French DVD info (in English) can be found here. The U.S. distributor's home page can be found here. If you are thinking of buying DVDs from outside your region, read this first.

DVD DETAILS: (all these features are in French, with no dubbing or subtitles)

  • Region 2 only. Anamorphically enhanced widescreen
  • Quite crisp; extremely vivid colors
  • Three deleted scenes
  • an interview with the director
  • remembrances of the special effects guy
  • 60 minute "making of" featurette
  • original theatrical trailer

The Critics Vote ...

  • No reviews online.

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C-. It is basically a colorful kids' film, except all in French, and with T&A.

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