Shriek of Araby (1923)

Run Time - 46 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Comedy producer Mack Sennett certainly couldn't let Rudolph Valentino's hit The Sheik come and go without spoofing it with none other than Ben Turpin as the star. Turpin starts off as a bill poster for a movie theater, while a tall, dark, and handsome type is dressed as an Arab and riding a horse to draw customers. But everyone is more interested in the good looking rider than going into the theater, so the manager fires him. In his place, he uses Turpin because he figures that no one will want to look at him for very long. But our cock-eyed hero falls asleep on the job and in his dream he is transported to the desert where he gets into an altercation with a perturbed ostrich. Because he has upset the "royal bird," he is taken away to be executed. He is saved, however, by the arrival of the Arab Prince (Ray Grey), who is about to leave for a two-week vacation in Baghdad. He sits Turpin on the throne in his place, and in the course of his duties as temporary prince, he saves a beautiful American girl (Kathryn McGuire) from bandits. But then a policeman (Louis Fronde) shakes Turpin awake -- he is back on the street with his tawdry costume and advertising sign. The support in this comedy is notable -- Kathryn McGuire would go on to star in two of Buster Keaton's most important films, Sherlock, Jr. and The Navigator, while two other actors, Charles Stevenson and Dick Sutherland, had recently appeared in Harold Lloyd's picture Grandma's Boy.

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Keywords

daydream, fantasy, reality