Hoping to force Lucille Ball into breaking her contract, Columbia Pictures chieftain Harry Cohn assigned her to the low-budget Arabian Nights escapade The Magic Carpet. Much to Cohn's amazement, the plucky Ball agreed to appear in the film, forcing Columbia to pay her salary until her option ran out. Contrary to popular belief, Ball is not the heroine of the film; in fact, she's the villainess, an opportunistic Iraqi princess named Narah. She aligns herself with the usurping Caliph of Bagdad (Gregory Gay) and his chief henchman Boreg (Raymond Burr), while the true caliph Ramoth (John Agar), unaware of his birthright, performs acts of derring-do as "The Scarlet Falcon." Patricia Medina co-stars as Ramoth's impulsive love interest, who proves to be quite a nuisance for everyone involved and is obliged to spend a good portion of the film in chains and ropes. While Lucille Ball is quite attractive in her harem duds, the viewer cannot help but notice that her bare midriff is often obscured by props and furniture; that's because she was pregnant with her daughter Lucie Arnaz during the filming of The Magic Carpet.