Two American soldiers are captured by the Germans on the Western Front during World War One and escape a POW camp only to stumble into further life-threatening adventures when they come across an Arabian king's daughter while on the lam.
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Americans Sgt. Peter O'Gaffney and one of his soldiers, privileged "pretty boy" W. Daingerfield Phelps III (who is always drawing caricatures), are captured and interred at a POW camp in Northern Germany near the end of WWI. Their relationship has always been an antagonistic one based on what Phelps sees as O'Gaffney pushing him around. O'Gaffney's rank is despite being wanted by the police back home as a con man. It is because of these differences that their resulting friendship at camp is so unlikely, the friendship based on both having the nerve to attempt to escape. On a snow covered day, they do manage to escape, in part by stealing white robes to camouflage themselves against the snow. In their adventures and misadventures on the outside in trying to get to safety, those adventures which include being mistaken for Arab prisoners, they find themselves as stowaways on board a cargo ship headed to Arabia. It is there that they meet a beautiful Arab woman named Mirza, who they save ... Written by
Lewis Milestone won an Oscar, then called the First Award, for Direction (Comedy Picture), the first and only year that category appeared in the Academy Awards. Milestone beat the only other nominee in the category, Ted Wilde for Harold Lloyd's Speedy (1928). Charles Chaplin had originally been announced as a Best Comedy Director nominee for The Circus (1928), but subsequently was removed from the category (his nomination for Best Actor also was rescinded) and given a special Honorary Award. Milestone won a second Oscar for directing All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), which featured Louis Wolheim in a World War 1 setting, and was nominated one more time, for The Front Page (1931). See more »
One of three Oscar winning films unavailable for viewing.
There are only three Oscar winning films that are unavailable for viewing. Two of them (THE PATRIOT -Best Screenplay; THE WAY OF ALL FLESH - Best Actor) are lost. The third is Lewis Milestone's directorial win the first year of the Oscars for TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS. The film (along with a Best Picture nominee of the same year, THE RACKET, also directed by Milestone) does exist in both negative and 35 mm print form, housed at an "obscure location" and owned by the Howard Hughes Estate. Problems with rights keep both Lewis Milestone films from distribution. They have never been released to television or video and no archive contains material on them. It is to be hoped that these two important films are made available to the public in the near future.
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