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Sheik, the


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Product Details

  • Actors: Rudolph Valentino, Agnes Ayres, Ruth Miller, George Waggner, Frank Butler
  • Directors: George Melford
  • Writers: Edith Maude Hull, Monte M. Katterjohn
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Paramount
  • VHS Release Date: April 1 2004
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302371376
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,738 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

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.

Special Features

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.

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By forrie on June 1 2003
Format: DVD
Remember this is circa 1921 Hollywood. Before CGI (Computer Generated Images), Television, Technicolor, WideScreen & Sound. Movies & Movie Idols were Hollywoods dream machine results. One of the first male stars to mesmerize and fantatize womens hearts was "Rudolph Valentino".
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!!
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Format: DVD
Rudolph Valentino made only five films, but he was idolized by millions of women the world over. Here in a fun double-bill, are The Shiek, which made him a household word, and his last film The Son of the Sheik. Each revolves around a romance between a beautiful young girl and Valentino's sultry man of the desert. There are lovely shots of horses running across the sands, delicious eyebrow raises from the sheik, and such memorable reader cards as: "The night was young at the Cafe Maure. Not a knife had been thrown---so far."
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.
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Format: DVD
My only real glimpses of Rudolph Valentino were through movie stills and clips and couldn't see what the fuss was about. After taking an interest in silent films, I decided to buy this dvd and see what he was all about. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. The Shiek and The Son of the Shiek are two amazing and surprisingly intriguing films though the latter is superior and was definitely my favorite. The first is the story of a shiek who becomes entranced by a strong-willed woman he kidnaps and from there on the story unfolds. In the second, he plays dual roles, father and son, and there is quite a bit more action. Still, both movies are great and worth watching.
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!
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By A Customer on Oct. 13 2002
Format: VHS Tape
As a fan of old movies, this was one I was going to end up seeing sooner or later. When it comes to the silent era, I prefer the slapstick, and I tend to avoid the more dramatic films. But who can ignore the legend that is Rudolph Valentino? This being the first Valentino film I'd ever seen, my expectations were pretty high, given his reputation, and I must say that I was a little disappointed. I personally don't see him as someone to commit suicide over upon his death, as some women did in 1926. Instead, I thought he was kind of effeminate. And, as a woman, I did find the storyline a little revolting - a woman falling in love with her kidnapper? But, as with any classic film, you have to look at the times in which it was made. The locations and costuming are exotic, definitely designed to transport the viewer into another time and place. And I'm sure that women were attracted to "dangerous men" even then, and the storyline is the kind that psychologically lets a woman off the hook, in terms of 1920's standards of guilt and morality (rape fantasy, anyone?). The actor's, and especially Valentino's, expressions were over-the-top, as they are in any silent-era film (probably why I prefer silent comedies-the overdone expressions fit better when they are played for laughs). But there's something else: even though I thought him effeminate, Valentino does certainly have a magnetism, a charisma about him. And the idea that a man would be so passionate about a woman that he would be driven to carry her off across the God-forsaken desert...well, I guess that plays pretty well, too. To be sure, some of it was unintentially funny and over-romanticized by today's standards. But I did find it much easier to swallow than the overblown morality plays of D.W. Griffith or the stuffed-with-substance films of Murnau. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who is interested in exploring silent films or cinematic history in general.
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