Variety‘s calumniation of the star, the director and the entire production remains a low point in American criticism, just as The Sheik is more a masterpiece each year. The beauty of Melford’s compositions in an Arab tent or on the desert has never been surpassed, Russell has only to touch upon it in Valentino and it resonates.
The English squab (Agnes Ayres) is perceived by Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan in an unforgettable glimpse of erotic succulence that conditions his responses even beyond the point of Arab hospitality, and then he feels the pangs of love.
Many influences are felt in subsequent films, Stroheim’s The Merry Widow, Huston’s Beat the Devil, Lumet’s Equus, Milius’s The Wind and the Lion...
East of Borneo
A film as simple and surrealistic and sublime as this ought to have been understood at once, but there it is, Mordaunt Hall of the New York Times drew a blank.
Hence Rose Hobart, in which Joseph Cornell does the honors.