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The Sheik

1921 / 86m - USA
The Sheik poster

Romance in the desert. The Sheik was a blast from the past. Not because I'd watched the film before, but because it's been some time since I last saw this kind of desert harem romance pop up. It feels as if this type of premise was a lot more prevalent back in the days, I guess it's not that hard to see why it didn't really stand the test of time.

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A girl is rescued from the desert, after that which she is kept, handed over and kidnapped by men. Men she sees as possible suitors. With a story like that, you're not going to please too many modern viewers. Add to that the fact that this is silent, i.e. a film stringed together from crude drama, and you have a relic that is doomed to fade from memory.

Performances are overstated, the camerawork is very static and the plot isn't much to look at. The music wasn't great either, but I'm sure people who really dig this type of film could come up with an alternative score that at least works in favor of the film. Not really enjoyable though, I'm starting to understand why comedy and horror silents are the most resilient films from that era.