Sabu and the Magic Ring 1957


Sabu, was a veteran of classic Hollywood films in the 1940s, although he began his career under the direction of Alexander Korda at London Films who operated from Denham Film Studios.

This is somewhat later where he seems to attempt to keep his career afloat, Prior to this film, Sabu made a jungle film, JAGUAR, with the same director and almost the same writing-and-producing team. His early films in this vogue were quite big budget ones greasy ben this was not anywhere near on that scale.

In the film Sabu is a penniless stable boy who comes across a magic ring and finds that he can summon the hugely proportioned genie Ubal (William Marshall), who will grant him any wish– so long as he holds the ring. Trouble is, the city’s evil vizier witnesses the genie’s power and wants the ring.

Many don’t know that during World War II, Sabu 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.

Eventually, he was approached by George Blair the producer/director who 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 colour. The costar of it was William Marshall

The plot was a kind of cheap Arabian adventure, but it could in no way capture the days of Sabu’s majestic 1940 masterpiece “The Thief of Baghdad”.

This film is marginally better that Sabu films of this time, “Jungle Boy/Jungle Hell” which is two separate films sewn together from one picture.

Sabu and the Magic Ring (1957) - IMDb
Interesting to see ‘A Mickey Rooney Production’

After this, Sabu only made a handful of films and died at the very young age of 39.

However For many of us, though, he will always be that smiling boy sailing through the azure skies on his flying carpet seeking ever greater adventures. We have to bear in mind though that he had been to War since those heady days and would have been much changed by that experience

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

One Response to “Sabu and the Magic Ring 1957”

  1. David Rayner says:

    SABU AND THE MAGIC RING originally went out on release in the UK as the lower half of a double bill with SNOWFIRE, a Western about a wild, white stallion.

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