Men and women, fathers and children. Ahmed, son of Diana and Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan, falls in love with Yasmin, a dancing girl who fronts her father's gang of mountebanks. Among the cutthroats is Ghobah, a villainous Moor to whom Yasmin is promised. In ruins near Touggourt, the city where Yasmin dances, she and Ahmed meet secretly until one night when her father and the gang capture the son of the sheik, torture him, and hold him for ransom. Will Ahmed believe that Yasmin set him up for capture? Even if true love finds a way through webs of deceit, what will the vigorous and imposing sheik say about his son consorting with a dancing girl?Written by
If anyone has heard about Valentino and wants to see what all the fuss was about, The Son of the Sheik is an excellent way to do so. Here he is five years past the overacting he exhibited in parts of the earlier installment. To top it off, he plays dual roles: the son and the father. And he does both admirably. The shots of the two characters in the same frame - touching each other, no less - are flawlessly executed. Generally, this is standard melodrama culminating in physical battles between the good guys and the bad guys and a final chase. Along the way we get a lot of exotic set pieces, lavishly furnished desert tents, horses racing across the dunes, smoky cafes in which dancing girls wriggle for tossed coins and a grand palace with spacious rooms and shiny floors. The intimate scenes between Valentino and the beauteous Vilma Banky are more sensuous than those of the previous film. Clips from these scenes will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen Valentino references in documentaries. Agnes Ayres reprises her role from The Sheik as Diana Mayo, now the wife of the older sheik and mother of his son, and she appears to have aged 20 years but is no less attractive. For Valentino, Banky and Ayres alone this is a treat.
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