Abdulla the Great

Abdulla the Great (also known as Abdullah's Harem) is a 1955 comedy film made by Misr Universal Cairo and Sphinx Films and distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation. It was directed and produced by Gregory Ratoff who also stars in the title role from a screenplay by Boris Ingster and George St. George, based on the novel My Kingdom for a Woman by Ismet Regeila. The music score was by Georges Auric and the cinematography by Lee Garmes.

Abdulla the Great
French film poster
Directed byGregory Ratoff
Produced byGregory Ratoff
Written byBoris Ingster
George St. George
Ismet Regeila (novel)
StarringGregory Ratoff
Kay Kendall
Sydney Chaplin
Alexander D'Arcy
Marina Berti
Music byGeorges Auric
CinematographyLee Garmes
Edited byMaurice Rootes
Distributed byTwentieth Century-Fox
Release date
1 February 1955 (France)
June 1956 (US)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUK / Egypt

The film stars Gregory Ratoff, Kay Kendall, Sydney Chaplin, Alexander D'Arcy and Marina Berti. Ratoff denied that the story was a thinly veiled parody of the life of King Farouk of Egypt and the events preceding his overthrow in 1952,[1]


The film is set in Bandaria, a Middle Eastern country whose absolute ruler, Abdullah (Gregory Ratoff), lives a life of great luxury, surrounded by lovely women. When Ronnie, a beautiful English model (Kay Kendall), arrives, Abdullah falls for her and offers her great riches. She resists his advances as she is more interested in Ahmed (Sydney Chaplin), an officer in the King's army. While this is going on, Abdullah is unaware of the growing discontent among his subjects which threatens to overthrow him.



  1. pp.89-94 Fun in Farouk's Palace LIFE 22 Mar 1954

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