Fairbanks stars as the thief Ahmed. He’s in the city of Bagdad plying his trade, stealing left and right. He steals a magic rope in order to break into the palace. While in the palace he sees the caliph’s daughter sleeping. Falling madly in love with her, Fairbanks decides he’ll try to steal her but he gets interrupted and has to escape.
The next day three suitors arrive in the city to win the hand of the princess. Fairbanks sneaks in with the suitors and pretends to be a prince. The princess chooses Fairbanks who then feels guilty and reveals to her that he’s really a thief. The evil of the Mongols has a spy in the palace and reveals that Fairbanks is a thief and not a prince. Fairbanks is imprisoned but the princess helps him escape. The next day the princess announces that she will marry whoever brings her the rarest gift. The three princes set out looking for rare gifts and Fairbanks heads out on quest for great treasure that will help him become a real prince.
Along the way Fairbanks fights a variety of monsters. The sets are amazing and the effects are pretty decent for 1924. In fact the film was one of the more expensive films made in the 1920’s. It has been remade a few times including a 1940 version where the thief (played by Sabu) is relegated to sidekick status. The original holds up pretty good and it is a ton of fun to watch.