Kismet (1930 film)

Directed by John Francis Dillon
Produced by Robert North
Written by Howard Estabrook
Edward Knoblock (play)
Starring Otis Skinner
Loretta Young
David Manners
Sidney Blackmer
Music by Leon Rosebrook
Edward Ward
Cinematography John F. Seitz
Edited by Alexander Hall
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Release dates
October 30, 1930
Running time
90 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $600,000

Kismet is a 1930 American pre-Code costume drama film photographed entirely in an early widescreen process using 65mm film that Warner Bros. called Vitascope. The film, now considered lost,[1] was based on Edward Knoblock's play Kismet, and was previously filmed as a silent film in 1920 which also starred Otis Skinner.


Hajj, a rascally beggar on the periphery of the court of Baghdad, schemes to marry his daughter to royalty and to win the heart of the queen of the castle himself.


Warner Bros. spared no expense in making this picture. They spent $600,000 in producing it and the extravagance of the film was noted by every reviewer. The film played in ten cities across the United States in the wide-screen Vitascope (65mm) version while the rest of the country (which did not yet have theaters capable of playing widescreen films) were provided with standard 35mm prints.[2]

Preservation status

The enormous amount of Pre-Code content (especially in the sequences in the harem) probably contributed to the film's loss.

Two remakes, both in color, were made of the film, one in 1944 and the other in 1955. The 1955 version was an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical based on the play. Some sources claim that the original 1930 film featured Technicolor sequences. The film is considered lost, while the complete soundtrack of the film survives on Vitaphone disks.[3]

Foreign language versions

One Foreign Language Version of the 1930 version of Kismet was made. The German version, also titled Kismet, was directed by William Dieterle, and was released in 1931.[4]

See also


  1. "Kismet". Deutsche Kinemathek. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  2. David Coles, "Magnified Grandeur, Widescreen 1926-1931"
  3. Complete Works of Guido Deiro. Mel Bay Publications. 2008. p. 6. ISBN 0-7866-7825-9.
  4. Kismet at the American Film Institute Catalog

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