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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A. Edward Sutherland
William 'Stage' Boyd,
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
Like TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS, a couple of American soldiers attempt the daring rescue of a Middle Eastern princess from a loveless betrothal.
Producer Howard Hughes became a Hollywood power with the very successful release of this, his third motion picture. Thought lost for decades, this wonderful silent comedy has recently been rediscovered & restored and given a splendid orchestral score by Robert Israel. Directed with verve by Lewis Milestone and greatly benefiting from William Cameron Menzies' art direction, the high jinks & high adventure of this antique buddy film are once again ready to delight the viewing audience.
Clean-cut private William Boyd and plug-ugly sergeant Louis Wolheim battle Germans, Arabs and each other across Europe, the Mediterranean and into Palestine. They make a terrific comedy duo, constantly involved in one-upmanship and dangerous exploits whether in a POW camp, on a prisoner train, aboard a tramp steamer, or in a Moslem souk and emir's palace. Wolheim, with his hilariously expressive face, has a slight advantage in the scene stealing category, while Boyd has the upper hand in the romantics department.
Mary Astor, as the endangered princess, is the willing recipient of Boyd's attentions. Her role doesn't give her a great deal to do except look lovely & alarmed, but these she carries off admirably.
In the supporting cast, Michael Visaroff is the black hearted ship's captain who comes into conflict with Boyd & Wolheim; look fast for Boris Karloff as his purser. Dashing Ian Keith nicely plays the young Arab chieftain who will stop at nothing to make Astor his bride.
At various points throughout the movie the viewer will notice the deterioration of the film stock, showing that TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS was indeed rescued, like the princess, just in time.
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