A Thousand and One Nights (1969 film)

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A Thousand and One Nights
A Thousand and One Nights-VHS.jpg
Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto
Produced by
Written by
  • Osamu Tezuka
  • Kazuo Fukasawa
  • Hiroyuki Kumai
Music by Isao Tomita
Cinematography Akira Tsuchiya
Distributed by Nippon Herald Movies
Release date
June 14, 1969
Running time
128 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

A Thousand and One Nights (Japanese: 千夜一夜物語, Hepburn: Senya Ichiya Monogatari) is a 1969 adult anime feature film directed by Eiichi Yamamoto, conceived by Osamu Tezuka. The film is part of Mushi Production's Animerama, a series of films aimed at an adult audience.

The film was a hit in Japan and was given limited screenings in America, but the film did very poorly, as an X-rated cartoon did not seem to appeal to an audience. [1] The dubbed version of the film is now very rare, and has never been released on home video, and may be considered lost. However, the trailer for the english dub was found. The English-dubbed version was cut to 100 minutes. The film predates the more successful release of Fritz the Cat, the first American X-rated animated film, by 3 years.

Plot[edit]

Aldin, a traveling water seller, falls in love with Mirium, a slave on auction in Baghdad, but Havahslakum, the son of the chief of police, buys her. Before he can take her home, a sand storm interrupts the auction. Aldin uses the opportunity to steal away the slave woman, rescuing her from slavery. They hide from pursuing guards in a seemingly empty mansion. They have sex there, and are secretly watched by the master of the mansion, Suleiman, who locks them in and commands them to continue. Havahslakum and his guards invade the mansion and find them. He takes Mirium. Budley, the right-hand man of the chief of police, murders Suleiman. Aldin is sent to prison by mistake for the murder of Suleiman, and is tortured. One year later, a heartbroken Miriam dies in childbirth.

After a time, Aldin is set free and meets Budley in the desert. Aldin threatens to kill him, but shows him mercy and lets him leave. Aldin finds the cave of Kamarkim and the forty thieves. Aldin follows a thief inside, and as the thieves are asleep, he begins stealing their treasure. Mardia, a young female thief, awakens and threatens to kill Aldin, who convinces her to see the world with him. The two fly away on a magic wooden horse. While they are over the ocean, living hair pulls them down. They swim to a nearby island, inhabited only by women. Their queen-goddess invites the two to stay, but Mardia does not trust them and leaves on the magic horse while Aldin stays and has sex with the women. The queen forbids Aldin from following her to her house in the woods at night, but he still does it, and witnesses her transforming into a large, white serpent. All the women change likewise and chase Aldin off the island.

Aldin is later picked up by sailors, and they travel to an island inhabited by a giant who eats much of the crew. Aldin finds a magical, sentient ship that will take him anywhere and fulfill almost any of his wishes. Meanwhile, 15 years later, two shapeshifters on a carpet come across a sheepherder named Aslarn, which the female shapeshifter falls for. The male shapeshifter in hopes of keeping the other shapeshifter from risking death by being seen by the sheepherder, brings a female princess from Baghdad and teleports Her away when things were going wrong. The male shapeshifter in a huff leaves the female, as She transforms into a horse when Aslarn hopes to go to Baghdad of course, when Aslarn and the Princess cross paths in the desert, the shapeshifter disappears from sight.

In the 15 years, Aldin uses the ship to become wealthy, and enters a competition in Baghdad, the winner of which will become king. He wins the competition by tricking his opponent onto his magic ship, and by commanding the ship to take him to the end of the world. Wanting a girl who looks like Mirium, Aldin tries to use his power as the king to make a girl named Jaris – who is Mirium's daughter – marry him, but she loves another man, Aslarn. Aldin commands the people to build a tower to Heaven. The people hate him and revolt, led by Aldin's second-in-command. Not prepared for the pressures of kingship, Aldin gives up the throne to travel the world as a poor man again, now seeing the value of freedom.

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