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If you have the slightest interest in the phenomenon called Rudolph Valentino, this terrific disc is absolutely the place to start. The screen's great male sex god of the 1920s had a mammoth success with The Sheik, a slice of desert romance both exciting and completely absurd. Valentino plays a dashing "sheik of Araby" who rather forcefully romances an adventure-minded English lady (Agnes Ayres); if the story creaks with Victorian storytelling conventions, it also works. Five years later Valentino returned to the sands with his final film, The Son of the Sheik, playing both his original role and the sheik's impetuous boy. More madness here, and a wild saber duel on horseback at night reminds us they don't make movies like this any more. Valentino's faux-exotic allure may seem curious to modern viewers, but squint hard and you can imagine the frenzy caused by the sultry eyes and rapacious grin. --Robert Horton --This text refers to the DVD edition.
A crazy 13-minute newsreel, "Rudolph Valentino and His 88 American Beauties," recounts a beauty pageant judged by the heartthrob. Winner: Norma Niblock, of Toronto. "The Sheik's Physique" is a brief scene of Rudy taking a day at the beach, and a newsreel on Valentino's 1926 funeral gives a sense of the hysteria that followed the young star's death. Newly minted music scores do an acceptable job of re-creating the musical approaches of the silent era, and The Son of the Sheik has an alternate score from a 1937 reissue; it's pretty corny. --Robert Horton --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The "Sheik" (1921) & the sequel "Son of the Sheik", immortalize Valentino & Hollywood begins its dreammaking machine. Millions of women world wide spent their hard earn money going to the movies over & over to see this Heart throb. Valentino even went on a national tour covering 88 cities to promote & select the most beautiful woman in the world. (Special Feature feaurette in this DVD). This matinee idol became a phenomenon, an icon.
Now through this magnificent DVD can we witness an see how Valentino dominated the screen and how these lavish Hollywood silent classics ruled the hearts of so many women.
At the least you must rent this outstanding collectors DVD to enjoy Rudolph Valentino's performance. The musical score is grand and the movies very entertaining.
Many extras are included even his spectacular funeral. (He died very young from appendicitis) This too was a very sad day in the hearts of millions. Enjoy the mystery and the brief cinamatic life of Rudolph Valentino!!
The prints are very nice, though The Sheik is heavily tinted and runs 86 minutes instead of the 80 minutes it should. The music tracks are alright, using a small orchestra, with an alternative updated track available for the second film; I was disappointed because I had seen The Sheik on television several years ago and the accompanying synthesizer track was remarkably beautiful -- but that is not on this disc.
Three shorts are included: "Rudolph Valentino and His 88 American Beauties", in which the star judges a beauty contest (1923, 13 minutes); "The Sheik's Physique", in which the star takes a nap in his swimsuit (not dated, 3 minutes); and the Pathe News coverage of Valentino's funeral (1926, 4 minutes).
If you are interested in silent films or in Valentino, this is a terrific package.
As for Valentino, he was an amazing presence on film. To me, he is "the" sex symbol that is incomparable to any from his era to now. In the first movie, his mannerisms and facial expressions are more dramatized, but the second film, he is more natural and its in that one he was even more beautiful. I can see why people are still entranced with him after all this time. Count me in as one of those.
As for the DVD, both of the films are good prints and the music fits the film. You also get to see the Pathe newsreel showing his funeral which is very sad. Most interestingly you get to see him judge a beauty contest and there is a clip called "The Shiek's Physique" which is a clip of him sunbathing on the beach. He is gorgeous in that as well.
All in all, its a great deal and a good bargain to get to see one of the most amazing actors. Great!
Most recent customer reviews
I've always been "in love" with the "older" male movie stars, those who are no longer around. I am twenty-seven years old but I love such actors as Tyrone Powers, Clark Gable,... Read morePublished on July 4 2004
During the 1920s, women who had seen the Sheik started running all over Arabia looking for Arabs to capture them. Read morePublished on March 3 2004
First off, great reviews here. Just wondering if this edition has the in/famous rape scene, or has it been cut out, as on the VHS version ? Thanks. Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2004 by Hillbilly
I am so glad that I bought this movie on the basis of reading other reviews. To watch Valentino for the first time is quite impressive. Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2004 by L. Biskup
There is absolutely no one past or present who does to women on screen what Rudolph Valentino does. He is the ultimate lover. Just watch his hands. Gentlemen of today! Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2004 by Susie Giamalva
My goodness - How I wish I'd been around in 1920's Hollywood!! - This is a wonderful look back at Rudolph Valentino's two Sheik movies (the second in which he plays his former... Read morePublished on Dec 11 2003 by Aloixa Sinclaire
I've been seeing these films all of my life thanks to such shows as Silents Please! and silent film festivals, and I've been a silent film fan forever. Read morePublished on Dec 3 2003 by Sandra in Motown
For great romance and passion, "The Sheik," really has it. It's a great film. It's a silent film and is great. In my opinion it's one of the best. Read morePublished on June 12 2003 by Rosella Ann Myles
I love Rudolph Valentino. He possessed a spirit that I find
rare in anyone. As for "The Shiek", it is just a fantasy story. Read more