31 user 23 critic

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.


George Melford


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




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


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


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


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Despite playing the title character, Rudolph Valentino was billed under Agnes Ayres in the original film release and advertising. See more »


Ahmed: When love is more desired than riches, it is the will of Allah.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version shown on American Movie Classics had a soundtrack of original music composed and performed by Roger Bellon. The running time was 80 minutes. See more »


Referenced in It All Came True (1998) See more »

User Reviews

Libido of Arabia
31 December 2004 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

A significant milestone in movie history and therefore should be watched as such. Viewed only by today's standards it's pretty corny and contrived, chock full of insinuated or probably insulting stereotypes, and also suffered that most terrible of happenings: the sequel was much better!

I last saw it as a teenager in 1975; all I could remember of it was chuckling at the implied strength of Ahmed's tent withstanding the sandstorm. Or of course, Diana's iron will in withstanding Ahmed's potential sexual advances. But that was the discipline that came with being white - if he had been a true Arab, well ... As usual back then, Blood is thicker than education.

Seen again, it's a reasonably well produced romantic action film, which carries you along (if you let it) to the corny and contrived ending. I may sound a bit too sarcastic, but I assure all that I thoroughly enjoyed The Sheik and thus recommend it, only don't take it too seriously.

Was Menjou on a diet in '21? I don't remember him skinnier than in this!

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None | English

Release Date:

20 November 1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sheik See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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