"Scorching Sands" is clearly not a P.C. Wren spoof. It was released a year before the novel "Beau Geste" was published and three years before the movie with Ronald Colman was produced. Instead, it's an overt parody of Ouida's "Under Two Flags." This novel had already been filmed several times by the time Stan Laurel spoofed it and audiences would have had no trouble recognizing the source of his parody. In "Scorching Sands," Laurel finds himself torn between a beautiful society lady and a "sweetheart of the Legion," who is clearly modeled on Cigarette, the girl played in various film versions by Theda Bara and Claudette Colbert, among others. Much of the short consists of standard military-themed gags that don't parody any specific picture, but the inspiration of the film is "Under Two Flags" without a doubt.
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