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The Sheik (1921)

A charming Arabian sheik becomes infatuated with an adventurous, modern-thinking Englishwoman and abducts her to his home in the Saharan desert.

Director:

George Melford

Writers:

Edith Maude Hull (from the novel by) (as Edith M. Hull), Monte M. Katterjohn (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rudolph Valentino ... The Sheik - Ahmed Ben Hassan
Agnes Ayres ... Lady Diana Mayo
Ruth Miller Ruth Miller ... Zilah - A Marriage Market Prospect
George Waggner George Waggner ... Yousaef - Tribal Chieftain (as George Waggener)
Frank Butler Frank Butler ... Sir Aubrey Mayo
Charles Brinley ... Mustapha Ali - Diana's Guide (as Charles Brindley)
Lucien Littlefield ... Gaston - French Valet
Adolphe Menjou ... Dr. Raoul de St. Hubert
Walter Long ... Omair - the Bandit
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Storyline

Sheik Ahmed (Valentino) desperately desires fiesty British socialite Diana (Ayres), so he abducts her and carries her off to his luxurious desert tent-palace. The free-spirited Diana recoils from his passionate embraces and yearns to be released. Only after being kidnapped by desert bandits does Diana realize how much she has grown to love Ahmed, who comes to her rescue in the nick of time. Written by E. Beck

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Book Sensation of a Decade Flaming on the Screen (Print Ad- Duluth Herald, ((Duluth. Minn.)) 26 November 1921) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Sheik See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite playing the title character, Rudolph Valentino was billed under Agnes Ayres in the original film release and advertising. See more »

Quotes

English Woman #1: Are you going to attend Diana Mayo's farewell dance this evening?
English Woman #2: I thoroughly disapprove of this young madcap's wild scheme!
English Woman #3: The idea of Diana Mayo planning a tour alone into the desert, with only native camel-drivers and Arabs!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version shown on American Movie Classics had a soundtrack of original music composed and performed by Roger Bellon. The running time was 80 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Love Goddesses (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An essential period piece for film buffs
21 January 2002 | by g_hawkeSee all my reviews

The Sheik. Like it or not it is part of film history and as such deserves at least a look. The plot is pure romance novel, the budget was microscopic and it's true about it not being Valentino's best film. In spite of all this, the film manages to be a neat bit of escapism.

No one expected this film to succeed in spite of being based on a wildly popular best seller. But the female film going population had other ideas and The Sheik made a mint, spawned many imitations and caused an Arabia craze.

The plot involves the lovesick Sheik Ahmed abducting an English beauty to be his wife. Clearly, this is not the sort of movie that would get released today except as a direct to video. Because of this, rather than in spite of, this movie is very fascinating to modern viewers.

The Sheik is strangely enjoyable if one puts aside modern inhibitions and gets into the spirit of things. Even with that, this is not a very well made movie, just a fun one. In spite of cries for censorship in the 20's, this movie is very tame by most modern standards. Nothing I would show a child, but most certainly not as wild as what is on an average network sitcom.

If you wish to check out the legendary Valentino, I suggest viewing The Eagle or the Son of the Sheik which feature much better performances.


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