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John Francis Dillon
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,
Shiek Yousseff, poses as a friend of the French while secretly plotting to overthrow them. Apposing Yousseff are the Riffs, whose secret leader, The Red Shadow, is Paul Bonnard, a professor who is studying the desert, and whose attacks on the supply trains intended for Yousseff keep the Riff villages in food. Foreign Legion General Birabeau arrives to conduct an investigation, accompanied by his daughter, Margot. Birabeau hires Bonnard to tutor her, and she is attracted to a Legionaire captain, Claud Fontaine. While the general, Bonnard and Fontaine pay a visit to Yousseff, an American newspaper man, Benji Kidd, discovers a secret way in and out of Yousseff's palace, with the aid of Azuri, a dancing girl in love with Bonnard. The latter is forced to resume his role as the Riffs leader, and kidnap Margot until he can convince her of Yousseff's treachery. But Yousseff's men attack the Riff camp and take Margot prisoner. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The movie was shot at the Algodones Dunes near El Centro, California. The Sheik's palace, always seen at a distance, was a matte painting. The scenes of the entrance, walls, garden, etc. of the palace were shot on a sound stage. See more »
When the desert messengers are sending the message with their flutes, the fingering doesn't match the tones being played at all. See more »
I'm afraid I must contradict one of the contributors above. El Khobar (The Red Shadow) was not based on Abd-el-Kader but instead on the exploits of one known as El Hadj Aleman, who gave the French Foreign Legion fits during the Riff War in the 1920's. El Hadj Aleman was in fact a Legion deserter (Otto Klems) of German nationality. Despite being a Legion officer, he hated the French, defecting to the Arabs and with his military skills became a very effective leader. His identity was a mystery to the Foreign Legion until nearly the end of the war. Surrendering, he was sentenced to death by the French, but he had become a romantic hero in the U.S. due to dispatches by American reporters (witness Romberg's operetta, The Desert Song, as a result). U.S. pressure was applied to the French and they at last quietly released Klems. Back in Germany and in prison for burglary, he committed suicide.
Just setting the record straight.
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