Artistic backgrounds and trick photography were the draws in this romantic drama, based on The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. As Ben Ali, Ramon Novarro practically disappears in the midst of all the camera work and set design, as does his co-star Kathleen Key (who, incidentally, was a descendent of Francis Scott Key). The film's titles are, more often than not, direct quotes of the Rubaiyat's verses. As a result, the plot sticks pretty much to the original Edward Fitzgerald translation -- Ben Ali, the son of Omar (Frederick Warde), is engaged to Sherin (Key), but lusty old sheik Hassan Ben Sabbath (Edwin Stevens) wants Sherin for himself. Although Ben Ali gets the girl, Edwin Stevens walks off with the acting honors, and occasionally another actor's presence emerges memorably in the midst of all the fancy backgrounds and harems, most notably funny-faced character actor Snitz Edwards as Omar's servant.
by Janiss Garza synopsis