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Gabriel de Gravone
Based on stories from "The Arabian Nights." A wicked sorcerer tricks Prince Achmed into riding a magical flying horse. The heroic prince is able to subdue the magical horse, which he uses to fly off to many adventures. While travelling, he falls in love with the beautiful Princess Peri Banu, and must defeat an army of demons to win her heart. The entire film is animated using the silhouette technique, which employs movable cardboard and metal cutouts posed in front of illuminated sheets of glass. Written by
Lotte Reiniger's "The Adventures of Prince Achmed" is one of the most amazing achievements in the history of cinema. The first animated movie ever, Achmed was based on the ancient stories "Arabian Nights." It took her three whole years to make, shooting over 250,000 cardboard cutouts with the assistance of her husband Carl Koch.
The German silent film begins with the creation of a flying horse. The African Magician tricks Prince Achmed into flying the horse, hoping to rid the kingdom of Achmed's presence. But Achmed is able to control the horse, and flies off to an island, where he finds the beautiful princess Peri Banu. In order to win her heart he must defeat the Magician, the Chinese Emperor, and an army of demons, with the help of Aladdin and a mysterious witch.
The irony of this movie is that the German subtitles are subtitled in English. But don't let that throw you, this silent masterpiece is magnificent film-making at its best, and certainly a landmark in cinema.
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