Ancient magic, a lovable mutt, and a motley cast add up to a mildly diverting muddle when Tim employs an Arabic spell in an effort to forestall his dog Sam's eviction. Tim's troubles begin after his dropout father is killed digging for mystical inscriptions in Mesopotamia and Tim has to leave Madame Sosostris, their spiritualist friend in tie-dyed turban, to live with Aunt Lucy on Sutton Place. Because Aunt Lucy doesn't take to Sam, Tim summons a genie, Abdullah, with a spell he finds in his father's diary. Abdullah (who uses phrases like ""pinnacled cities"" and ""thy delight"") turns Sam into a man, and in the end Aunt Lucy and the humanized Sam seem to be hitting it off while Abdullah gives up his immortal powers for the love of Rose Jackson, Aunt Lucy's maid (who is ""really a singer""). Meanwhile there are some near discoveries (occasioned by Sam's poignant howls when he gets emotional and his ungentlemanly aggression after a few martinis) and much hasty covering up on Tim's part -- which keeps the action brisk and breathless even though the actors are mainly stock kooks and the situation exists only to set them in frenetic motion.