I have heard of the story of 1001 Nights, and I know there have been tons of films made based on the stories in it. However, I am having difficulty finding a film that actually uses as a framework the fact that the king takes a bride every day and then slays her, then Sheherazade comes and wins his heart with her stories. Are there any films with this framework, and if so, would you mind listing it/them for me? Thank you.

  • 2
    Most films about the 1001 Nights are made for children, and I doubt anyone would want their child to hear stories about how this great king killed his wife everyday. Jul 14, 2018 at 5:01
  • 1
    Not a film, but Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov's symphonic suite Scheherazade does exactly this.
    – Spencer
    Jul 14, 2018 at 11:21

1 Answer 1


In 2000, Hallmark Entertainent created a 2-episode-long miniseries entitled Arabian Nights, which aired on BBC One in the UK and on ABC in the USA. Strictly speaking, this is not a movie, but each episode being roughly the conventional run-time of a movie (1.5 hours), the complete miniseries could be seen as a double full-length feature. Among the cast are Dougray Scott (who I remember most as the villain in Mission: Impossible 2; here he plays the Sultan of Baghdad), Jim Carter (who currently seems to be best known from Downton Abbey), John Leguizamo and Andy Serkis. Jason Scott Lee plays Aladdin, who is portrayed here, like he is in the original story, as Chinese.

The series consists of five stories, the most famous among them being "Aladdin and the Magic Lamp" and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves." The overarching premise of the story is indeed based on the framework that the Sultan's new bride Scheherezade tells him a story every night, stopping at dawn with a cliffhanger, and then refusing to continue until dusk, and in this way she is able to save herself from execution. There are a few other palace intrigues which seem to be invented for the TV series but for the most part the overarching theme is quite closely based upon the source material.

See the series trailer here.

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