"The Arab" - Thursday, August 20, 2015

In our continuing story, the ATT blog looks at the different pieces on display in the Music Room today.  Many of the posters and head shots we have date back to the silent film era.  We talked a few weeks ago about Rudolph Valentino and his breakthrough smash 1921 film The Sheik. Today, we are going to talk about another film that in no way took its inspiration from Valentino's box office hit, called The Arab.  

The Arab was a popular subject for a film in the early days of cinema.  The first version of it came out in 1915, which was directed by Cecil B. DeMille.  The version we have is from 1924, directed by Rex Ingram (one of the silent film era's greatest directors) and starring Ramon Novarro and Alice Terry.  The film finds Jamil (Novarro) in a small desert community after abandoning his regiment during a war between Syria and Turkey.  He meets two American missionaries (Terry is the pretty one) running an orphan asylum that is being threatened by soldiers.  **Spoiler Alert**  Jamil saves the children, becomes head of a tribe of Arabs, and gets the pretty girl.  I know, you didn't see any of that coming!  The movie was remade again in 1933 as The Barbarian, starring Novarro again.
QUESTION:  Which of the following films was also directed by Rex Ingram?
A)  The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
B)  Birth of a Nation (1915)
C)  Foolish Wives (1922)
D)  Metropolis (1927)

OH SAVANNAH!  On this day in 1962, nuclear technology took another leap forward when the NS Savannah steamship embarked on this day for a trans-Atlantic journey.  It was the first civilian ship to utilize nuclear power for its reactor, and was only one of four cargo ships ever equipped with nuclear technology.  It only ran for ten years before being decommissioned.  It currently sits in dry dock in Baltimore, Maryland, waiting for investors to convert it into a museum so we can all appreciated its technology and design.  Any takers?

THE KING.  We were considering honoring the birthday of Ron Paul today, but decided we wanted to celebrate someone whose hair makes more of a statement.  That in mind, we are happy to recognize Don King - boxing promoter extraordinaire.  His list of clients is pretty much a who's who of boxing champions - from Mohammed Ali to Evander Holyfield, with Mike Tyson and Joe Frazier squeezed in there with many other familiar names.  Don is turning 84 today.  His hair is pretty much the same age, too!

QUOTE:  You go for the quality of the performance, not the longevity of it. - Don King

ANSWER:  A)  The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  The others were B)  D.W. Griffiths;  C)  Erich von Stroheim;  D)  Fritz Lang