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Abdul the Damned (1935)

Passed | | Drama, History | 10 May 1936 (USA)
1:13 | Trailer
In 1908, Sultan Abdul Hamid faces resistance from the Young Turk party, while also becoming infatuated with a visiting Austrian singer.


Karl Grune


Robert Neumann (story), Ashley Dukes (dialogue) | 5 more credits »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fritz Kortner ... Sultan Abdul Hamid II / Kelar - his double
Nils Asther ... Chief of Police Kadar-Pasha
John Stuart ... Capt. Talak-Bey
Adrienne Ames ... Therese Alder
Esme Percy ... Ali - Chief Eunuch (as Esmé Percy)
Walter Rilla ... Hassan-Bey
Charles Carson ... Gen. Hilmi-Pasha
Patric Knowles ... Omar - Hilmi's Attache
Eric Portman ... Conspirastor
Clifford Heatherley Clifford Heatherley ... Court Doctor
Henry B. Longhurst Henry B. Longhurst ... General of the Bodyguards (as Henry Longhurst)
Annie Esmond Annie Esmond ... Therese's Train Companion
H. Saxon-Snell H. Saxon-Snell ... Chief Interrogator (as H. Saxon Snell)
George Zucco ... Officer of the Firing Squad
Robert Naylor Robert Naylor ... Opera Singer


In 1908, Sultan Abdul Hamid rules the Turkish Empire, but he is faced with the threat of revolt by the Young Turk party. He allows Hilmi Pasha, the leader of the Young Turks, to return from exile and form the country's first constitutional government. With tensions still growing, chief of police Kadar Pasha assassinates Hassan Bey, the leader of the Old Turk party, and makes it look as if a Young Turk committed the crime, in order to give Abdul an excuse for arresting the Young Turk leaders. Meanwhile, Abdul becomes infatuated with a visiting Austrian singer. When she rejects his advances, she endangers both herself and her fiancé, a Turkish officer who also knows who really shot Hassan Bey. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An Amazing screen sensation with a cast of thousands! (original USA Insert Card) See more »


Drama | History


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 May 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Abdul Hamid See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Sex, Lies and Political Intrigue in 1900 Turkey
12 November 1998 | by CinebugSee all my reviews

Abdul Hamid was the sultan of Turkey at the turn of the century. A dozen sultans before him had been murdered for political reasons. He lives in such fear of assassination that his chief of the secret police, Nils Asther (in an unusually menacing role), "removes" anyone who could possibly be a threat. Along comes Adrienne Ames as the star of a touring British musical. The sultan takes one look at her and falls in love. She won't give him the time of day. The chief of police has her fiancé arrested on a pretext and threatened with execution to "encourage" her to enter the sultan's harem (which interestingly and politically correctly contain women from every possible race: Black, European, Jewish, etc.). She agrees. Most of the film is concerned with the political machinations of the sultan and the chief of police. It's a political thriller and from that POV was quite ahead of its time. But it's a fascinating film in its own right. Not only because of Fritz Kortner and Nil Asther, but because of the fine acting by Eric Portman, Patrick Knowles, Esme Percy as the chief eunuch, and a brief but forceful appearance by George Zucco as the Captain of the firing squad. Added to all of this is an excellent musical score (with a rare filmed glimpse of a 1930's English musical production), brilliant editing and cinematography that will remind you of the German Expressionism movement------much of the crew, director, cinematographer, etc. were German immigrants. The film has as German a feel as SUNRISE. If you get a chance to see it, do. It's a favorite of mine.

Jay Fenton

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