A Thousand and One Nights (1969 film)

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A Thousand and One Nights
A Thousand and One Nights Tezuka.jpg
Directed byEiichi Yamamoto
Produced by
Written by
  • Osamu Tezuka
  • Kazuo Fukasawa
  • Hiroyuki Kumai
Music by
CinematographyAkira Tsuchiya
Distributed byNippon Herald Movies
Release date
June 14, 1969
Running time
128 minutes

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 in 1970, 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 three years.


Aldin, a poor traveling water seller, falls in love with Miriam, a slave woman on auction in Baghdad, but Havasalakum, 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, Sulaiman, who locks them in and commands them to continue. Havasalakum and his guards invade the mansion, where he finds them and takes Miriam. Badli, the right-hand man of the chief of police, murders Sulaiman. Aldin is tortured and sent to prison by mistake for the murder of Sulaiman.

One year later, Aldin is set free. Meanwhile a heartbroken Miriam dies in childbirth. Aldin meets Badli in the desert. Aldin threatens to kill him, but shows him mercy and lets him leave. Aldin finds the magic cave where Kamahakim and the forty thieves hides their treasure. Aldin follows a thief inside, and as the thieves are asleep, he begins stealing the treasure. Madia, 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 crossing the ocean, living hair pulls them down. And then, they find themselves landed to the Lotus Island, which is home to beautiful Sirens. Their Queen invites them to stay, but Madia becomes jealous and does not trust them. She leaves on the magic horse while Aldin stays and has sex with the sirens. The queen forbids Aldin from following her to her house in the woods at night, but he still does so, and he is shocked when the queen and the sirens transform into snakes. The snakes chase him, but Aldin flees from the island to escape and is rescued by sailors, and they travel to a mysterious island, which is inhabited by a man-eating giant who eats most of the crew while Aldin survives. From the island, Aldin finds a magical, sentient ship that will take him anywhere and fulfill almost any of his wishes.

15 years later, two genies on a carpet come across a shepherd named Aslan, which the female genie falls for. The male genie in hopes of keeping the other genie from risking death by being seen by the sheepherder, brings a beautiful princess from Baghdad and teleports her away when things were going wrong. The male genie in a huff leaves the female genie, as She transforms into a horse when Aslan hopes to go to Baghdad. Of course, when Aslan and the Princess cross paths in the desert, the genie disappears from sight.

Meanwhile, Aldin, now became a rich man, and enters a competition in Baghdad, the winner of which will become king. He wins the competition by tricking his opponent onto his magical ship, and by commanding the ship to take him to the end of the world. Wanting the Princess who looks like Miriam, Aldin tries to use his power as the king to make the Princess named Jalis – who is Miriam's daughter – marry him, but she is in love with Aslan. 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 and peace.


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