starring Rudolph Valentino and Vilma Banky
November, 1926

Rudolph Valentino's last picture, "The Son of he Sheik," could not have been better chosen to reflect those qualities of his personality that created his tremendous popularity and raised him to a height of fame achieved by no other star. It falls considerably below his best picture from the standpoint of acting - in my opinion "Blood and Sand" - but it has greater appeal to the sentiment of his adorers.

"The Son of the Sheik" is a fairy tale of the desert, with all its traditional glamour and none of its reality, produced on an elaborate scale and skillfully compounded of those elements pleasing to Rudy's great public. The plot is thin, but you see Rudy as an impassioned lover in the moonlight, as a dashing horseman and as a sheik who twice kidnaps Yasmin, the dancing girl heroine, first for revenge and then for love. She is the daughter of a desert bandit whose followers capture Rudy, torture him, and hold him for ransom while he, of course, miraculously escapes, only to be deceived into believing that Yasmin trapped him into a rendezvous to oblige her father. Hence, Rudy's revenge. But it is a noble revenge. Yasmin leaves the tent with the O.K. of the censors.

When Rudy learns it was all a lie just to separate him from Yasmin and make the picture longer, he simply rides to the café where Yasmin is dancing energetically, though with a breaking heart, and abducts her at the price of a good fight with the crowed. It is all done in the spirit of high-flown romance. Whether you believe it is another matter entirely. But at least Ruby and his sponsors did the best they knew how to keep faith with those who have applauded before.

What matter it if desert dancing girls do not really have crisp blond curls and pearly complexions and practice the soft coquetries of the drawing room? Vilma Banky nevertheless is charming in her masquerade as Yasmin. Many will voice the same opinion of the entire picture.

starring Rudolph Valentino and Vilma Banky
September, 1926

In "The Sheik," that romantic drama played on hot desert sands, Rudolph Valentino did much to add a new word to our vernacular. Youths who pull a heavy line are still classified as sheiks by the feminine contingent. But if this word was becoming passé, we prophesy that Valentino in "The Son of the Sheik": will do something to revive it. Which is one way of saying that this will be a popular production.

E. M. Hull, author of both these sheik novels, might be said to know her stuff. And the same might be said of Valentino . . . the director, George Fitzmaurice, and Vilma Banky.

Again Valentino wears the robes of the Arabians . . . again he dashes over desert sands on a full-blooded steed. And again there is a fair lady in distress. Else, why a sheik?

There is a beauty to the entire production. And if it adds nothing of unadulterated art to the screen, it certainly adds an entertainment value. Surely Valentino need have not doubt of the appeal of his most famous character. Zorro's son made screen history for Douglas Fairbanks - and the sheik's son should carry on Rudolph's popularity.

starring Rudolph Valentino and Vilma Banky
October, 1926

Long will this picture remain in the memory of those fortunate enough to see it. "The Son of the Sheik" was Rudolph Valentino's last effort before the silver screen. He was the old Rudy again, and his work, without question, ranked at the top of the best performances of the month.

Rudy's old desert, Rudy's old fire, his old love, Agnes Ayres, his new love, Vilma Banky, his horses and his tents are all here, and how! Romance fills the air every second Rudy's visible.

The plot, if you insist, concerns the child of that marriage between the Sheik and the Lady Diana, and what a child he grew up to be! He rides like the wind, he fights like Doug Fairbanks on a busy morning, and his lovemaking is more torrid than an August afternoon in an accounting department.

In a troupe of French players, touring the desert, he beholds his love. She is fair and has dove's eyes. At night, beneath the desert stars, he woos her, and she if very, very happy to be won. But her father wants the young Sheik's money. Her father's confederate wants the girl. So drama comes in when Rudy is captured, tortured and held for ransom.

Freed by his own men, he believes the girl has betrayed him. He vows revenge and captures the girl, riding off to his tents with her, frail and sobbing in his arms. The rest is what makes this picture unforgettable.

Rudy plays both father and son ideally. Vilma Banky is perfectly lovely as the girl. And we expect every fan in the country to be saying, "It was Rudy's best. I can never forget him."

For more information, see "Son of the Sheik" as our "Feature of the Month"

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