The Sheik (1921)
Genre: Silent Romance Drama
Starring: Rudolph Valentino (Cobra; The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse), Agnes Ayres (Son Of The Sheik; The Ten Comandments (1923))
Directed By: George Melford (Dracula[Spanish Adaptation])
Overview: When a sheik kidnaps the beautiful British woman he desires, we wait and see how long it takes her to develop Stockholm Syndrome, er I mean, fall in love with him.
Acting: How can a director have 141 titles under his direction but not have more than one decent movie under his belt? Well maybe watching THIS will clear that up for you. Hey Melford, Mister Director? How 'bout you NOT shoot this like a punchinello puppet show? "Oh, woe is me!" says the woman with the back of her hand on her swooning forehead, while the sheik lasciviously laughs, his head thrown back, standing akimbo. "You are mine!"
Cinematography: How much more insolent can your generalizations get? Maybe, just maybe, I'm presuming that the presentation of the outfits, the attitudes and the 'Ayrabs' are racist. What if, in fact, that IS how it was back in 1920? Hell, I don't know, maybe it's STILL like that over there now. The thing is though, I won't presume, except in my review. About as weak as the helpless woman. Maybe four minutes worth watching for impressive stuff.
Script: The intertitles were very cool, I'll give it that. There was art accompanying each one and there was a touch of the floral in the narrative. As for quotes, there are a couple good ones, but nothing between the woman and her captor, really. We got a good sense of these people as the stereotypes they exuded, which, sadly is not what I look for in a story.
Plot: Jeez the end of this is predictable toilet, but at least it makes sure to clearly illustrate this woman's racism, er I mean 'cultural superiority', er, I mean 'sociological paradigm'. Ah, I give up. There's a nice little scene near the end that makes up for everything that's come before, but that just means this should have been a 20 minute short. It's not as bad as ALL that, but I should have watched the 'film school excerpt' version. I wonder if there is one...
Mood: Here is a film that is considered a great classic of the era, hence I watched it. The Great Rudolph Valentino! Women in theaters were passing out just looking at him. Repressed much? Gee, it's almost like people didn't need to have anything to watch besides him in his flowing gown. Maybe I'm jaded, maybe I expect too much, but this is not worth watching, it's tragic how much every scene is predictable to the point of being ignorant. Man!
Overall Rating: 54% (Shriek, More Like)
Aftertaste: Boring. How boring? Hmm... You know what, I'm not wasting anymore time thinking of ways to be witty with this one, I'm just sick of this movie, and would be glad to forget it. Actually if I forgot it, I'd probably have to go watch it again because I heard it was a classic once. Damn vice that is film study!!!