Men and women, fathers and children. Ahmed, son of Diana and Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan, falls in love with Yasmin, a dancing girl who fronts her father's gang of mountebanks. Among the cutthroats is Ghobah, a villainous Moor to whom Yasmin is promised. In ruins near Touggourt, the city where Yasmin dances, she and Ahmed meet secretly until one night when her father and the gang capture the son of the sheik, torture him, and hold him for ransom. Will Ahmed believe that Yasmin set him up for capture? Even if true love finds a way through webs of deceit, what will the vigorous and imposing sheik say about his son consorting with a dancing girl? Written by
This was Valentino's last film, and he is excellent in it, but it is far from being his best film (as many critics claim). Certainly "Camille", "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse", "The Eagle" and "The Conquering Power" are much better films. This was designed as a rollicking and sexy adventure film, with large doses of cheap slapstick humour, and on that level succeeds admirably. That famous scene where Valentino ravishes Vilma Banky is extraordinary, and Valentino shows real talent in portraying both the son and the father (he is almost unrecognisable in the latter role). Great split screen work allows the two Valentinos to inter-relate well too.
The film makes you wonder what this talented and beautiful man may have achieved had he lived. Would he have made it in talkies? It's hard to believe such charisma would ever fail.
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