The Son of the Sheik
|The Son of the Sheik|
|Directed by||George Fitzmaurice|
|Produced by||George Fitzmaurice
John W. Considine, Jr. (uncredited)
|Written by||Frances Marion (adaptation)
Fred de Gresac (adaptation)
George Marion, Jr. (titles)
Paul Girard Smith (uncredited)
|Based on||The Son of the Sheik
by Edith Hull
|Music by||Artur Guttmann (1937)
Jack Ward (1969)
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Running time||68 min.|
The Son of the Sheik is a 1926 American silent adventure/drama film directed by George Fitzmaurice and starring Rudolph Valentino and Vilma Bánky. The film is based on the 1925 romance novel of the same name by Edith Maude Hull, and is a sequel to the 1921 hit film The Sheik which also stars Rudolph Valentino. The Son of the Sheik is Valentino's final film and was released nearly two weeks after his death from peritonitis at the age of 31.
- Rudolph Valentino - Ahmed (The Son)/The Sheik (Ahmed's Father)
- Vilma Banky - Yasmin
- George Fawcett - Andre
- Montagu Love - Ghabah
- Karl Dane - Ramadan
- Bull Montana - Mountebank
- Bynunsky Hyman - Mountebank
- Agnes Ayres - Diana, The Sheik's Wife/Ahmed's Mother
At the time of the film's release, Rudolph Valentino was attempting to make a comeback in films. He rose to international stardom after the release of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and The Sheik in 1921, both of which were box office hits and solidified his image as "the Great Lover". By 1924, however, Valentino's popularity had began to wane after he appeared in two box office failures, Monsieur Beaucaire and A Sainted Devil, both of which featured him in roles that were a departure from his "Great Lover" image. He also squabbled over money with Famous Players-Lasky, the studio he was signed to, which eventually lead to him walking out on his contract. Famous Players-Lasky eventually released Valentino from his contract and he signed with United Artists in 1925. In an effort to capitalize on the success that Valentino had achieved with The Sheik, United Artists' president Joseph M. Schenck bought the rights to Edith Maude Hull's novel Son of the Sheik and cast Valentino in the dual role of father and son.
An advanced screening of The Son of the Sheik was shown at the Million Dollar Theater in Los Angeles on July 9, 1926. Valentino then embarked on a nationwide tour to promote the film. On August 15, he collapsed in his New York City hotel room and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors discovered he had a perforated ulcer which required emergency surgery. After the surgery, Valentino developed peritonitis and died on August 23, 1926.
The Son of the Sheik was released nationwide on September 5, 1926, nearly two weeks after Valentino's death. The film was an instant hit with audiences and grossed $1,000,000 within the first year of its release. Some critics have heralded Valentino's performance in the film as one of the best of his career.
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