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The Sheik (1921)

A charming Arabian sheik becomes infatuated with an adventurous, modern-thinking Englishwoman and abducts her to his home in the Saharan desert.

Director:

George Melford

Writers:

Edith Maude Hull (from the novel by) (as Edith M. Hull), Monte M. Katterjohn (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rudolph Valentino ... The Sheik - Ahmed Ben Hassan
Agnes Ayres ... Lady Diana Mayo
Ruth Miller Ruth Miller ... Zilah - A Marriage Market Prospect
George Waggner George Waggner ... Yousaef - Tribal Chieftain (as George Waggener)
Frank Butler Frank Butler ... Sir Aubrey Mayo
Charles Brinley ... Mustapha Ali - Diana's Guide (as Charles Brindley)
Lucien Littlefield ... Gaston - French Valet
Adolphe Menjou ... Dr. Raoul de St. Hubert
Walter Long ... Omair - the Bandit
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Storyline

Sheik Ahmed (Valentino) desperately desires fiesty British socialite Diana (Ayres), so he abducts her and carries her off to his luxurious desert tent-palace. The free-spirited Diana recoils from his passionate embraces and yearns to be released. Only after being kidnapped by desert bandits does Diana realize how much she has grown to love Ahmed, who comes to her rescue in the nick of time. Written by E. Beck

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A photoplay of tempestuous love between a madcap English beauty and a bronzed Arab chief! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Sheik See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Sheik, we are told, is half English and half Spanish and is not an Arab at all. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: Maidens chosen in the marriage market - An ancient custom by which Wives are secured for the wealthy sons of Allah.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fun in Valentino's desert
8 July 2011 | by American_DelightSee all my reviews

Lawrence loved Arabia and Meryl Streep fell for Africa, but Diana, the leading lady of "The Sheik," resists the desert with all her might. She reacts badly to Valentino at first, prefers to consort with Europeans, and threatens Arabs with a pistol she can barely shoot. As in every Hollywood romance, however, her heart eventually melts. Maybe this was an unexpected plot twist in 1921.

"The Sheik," will open the eyes of anybody who mistakenly believes that human history has been a steady march of ever increasing open-mindedness about sex. The 1920s were a more open, steamy time in film that the next couple of decades that followed it, which the "The Sheik" non-prudish storyline illustrates.

"The Sheik" is not quite exhilarating enough and is somewhat disappointing if you're looking for exotic passion or a home video for date night. But it succeeds as an early romantic comedy, and distinguishes itself from other silent era fare such as the mawkish humor of Chaplain, the historical bombast of "Birth of a Nation," and the serious reverence of "King of Kings." For romance between appealing leads in locations far from civilization as we know it, "Son of the Sheik" or even "Stagecoach" fifteen years later are better bets. Still, "The Sheik" is historically important and more fun than most films of the time.


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