» » The Sheik Steps Out (1937)

Short summary

In this comedy, a wealthy sheik kidnaps and falls for a snobby socialite.

A low-budget attempt to revive the career of former silent film star'Ramon Novarro', this cast him in a role satirizing his former rival for the title of "Latin Lover", Rudolph Valentino.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Kiaile
    Odd little film that stars Ramon Novarro in his first outing after a couple of flops and his MGM contract had collapsed. This film for Republic is only 60 minutes or so in length. His last film had been released in 1935 and he was attempting a comeback, but this project seems an odd choice. He plays a desert sheik who masquerades as a porter for a wealthy American (Gene Lockhart) in order to get close to his heiress daughter (Lola Lane). Away in the desert, he drops the disguise, but she escapes and they end up in a remote town where they get married (Arab style). Viewing herself in her getup, Lane utters the only memorable line in the film: "Now all I need is a snake, a pair of castanets, and a wiggle." Of course she is an heiress of the wisecracking variety. Film ends on a happy note when, as usual, the sheik turns out to really be a Spaniard (or whatever) who simply loves living in the desert. This one did nothing to revitalize Novarro's starring career, but didn't seem to hurt the ascendant Lane who had two hits in 1937: Hollywood HOTEL and MARKED WOMAN and was soon to have her biggest hits in Warners FOUR DAUGHTERS series. Treadway.

    Worth a look.
  • comment
    • Author: Hugifyn
    This film is a take-off of sorts on an earlier Arabian film that Novarro did, The Barbiarian. Both plots are the same: A Shiek pretends to be a commoner and falls in love with an American and kidnaps her. The only difference with this one is that he kidnaps her to teach her a lesson.

    Lola Lane plays Phyllis "Flip" Murdock, the spoiled daughter of corkscrew magnate Sam Murdock (Gene Lockhart). Flip has come to Arabia to meet with Shiek Ahmed, from whom she wants to buy an Arabia horse from. She thinks that the Shiek is an old man and through a mix-up by her father thinks that Ahmed is a tour guide. Ahmed decides to teach her a lesson in respect by having her kidnapped and he rescues her by "marrying" her. After the "marriage", she takes Ahmed's horse and hers and rides back to the hotel. She later finds out that he was the Shiek and leaves to go to Paris to marry her rather stuffy boyfriend. As they are to be married, Ahmed comes and shows the minister that he is actually her husband and he is in fact a Spanish Count who was adopted by a Shiek. She is happy to see him again and begins wedded bliss.

    I saw the cut copy of this and am hoping that TCM will show the uncut version because the one I saw is all too obviously chopped up in parts.
  • comment
    • Author: Ce
    A nasty tempered American socialite (Lola Lane) is off to Arabia to purchase a champion horse from an Arab sheik and makes everybody's lives miserable along the way, including her overly patient father (Gene Lockhart) and a handsome guide (Ramon Novarro) whom she insults every chance she gets. Of course, he's totally charming to her and on occasion, another side of her personality slips out. But when she begins to turn into Kate from "Taming of the Shrew", he becomes an Arab Petrucchio and runs off with her. What she doesn't realize is that he is the wealthy sheik and the horse that they are on is the prized stallion she wants. Will she end up with two prized stallions? That answer is yes, once he tames her, and in spite of her temperament, he can't resist a challenge.

    Lola Lane, who played a hot-headed movie star in the same year's "Hollywood Hotel", does pretty much the same thing here, and is hysterically funny in her temperament. Ramon Novarro, the ever boyish leading man of the silent era, is still charming here, but his obvious femininity makes it difficult to swallow the fact that he is a hot-blooded ladies' man, let alone an Arab. (An explanation at the end of the movies reveals a little bit more about him.) But yet this is still a pretty good farce, more of a burlesque of the old silent Novarro/Valentino Latin lover stereotype. Extremely short, this is very easy to take, but ultimately I found myself laughing more at it than with it. Still, Novarro is quite sexy (even nearing 40) and Lane is totally amusing. She gets her come-uppance in ways that have to be seen to be believed, and that makes her shrewish character a lot more tolerable.
  • comment
    • Author: komandante
    Even by the humbler standards of a Republic comedy/romance/exotic adventure, this film is rather a chore to sit through. In fact, I kept on watching it in the expectation that it might improve. To my surprise, it didn't! Republic usually packs in a great final reel, but not in this case. If anything the movie gets worse – less believable, less entertaining, less adventuresome. I'll admit it's never exactly boring, because we keep on hoping it will improve and that both the screenwriters, Adele Buffington and Gordon Kahn, plus director Irving Pichel will finally come good. At this stage, we've given up on Ramon Novarro but we keep hoping that Lola Lane will do something exciting and that Gene Lockhart will say something that's really funny. No such luck. Despite much location filming and a superb sepia-tinted print, the sheik is just as boring and uninteresting at the end of the movie as he was at the beginning. Not Novarro's fault! He tries hard to breathe a bit of life into the proceedings but the time-wasting script, the corny décor and Pichel's dead boring direction, defeat him. Available on a superb Alpha DVD.
  • Cast overview:
    Ramon Novarro Ramon Novarro - Ahmed Ben Nesib
    Lola Lane Lola Lane - Phyllis 'Flip' Murdock
    Gene Lockhart Gene Lockhart - Samuel P. Murdock
    Kathleen Burke Kathleen Burke - Gloria Parker
    Stanley Fields Stanley Fields - Abu Saal
    Billy Bevan Billy Bevan - Munson
    Charlotte Treadway Charlotte Treadway - Polly Parker
    Robert Coote Robert Coote - Lord Eustace Byington
    Leonid Kinskey Leonid Kinskey - Allusi Ali
    Georges Renavent Georges Renavent - Count Mario
    Jamiel Hasson Jamiel Hasson - Kisub
    C. Montague Shaw C. Montague Shaw - Dr. Peabody - Minister
    George Sorel George Sorel - Lt. Bordeaux
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