"The Sheik" - Thursday, March 5, 2015

We know you know we love movies here at the American Treasure Tour.  We have dedicated many days to talking about the posters on display here.  Well, today, we have another movie to talk about, but we can't really describe what we have as an actual poster.  It's much more than that, and yet, nothing like a poster, either.  It's almost a mural, dedicated to a well-regarded, much-loved film from 1921.


The Sheik stars Rudolph Valentino in the title role, with Agnes Ayres as the headstrong British Lady who believes that marriage will destroy any independence she might have had.  We don't want to spoil the story, so let's just leave it with a brief synopsis:  The Sheik tries to buy Agnes as a wife, she resists, gets kidnapped, and grows to love her captor.  Fun is had by all.  It's certainly not a storyline one might expect to see in today's films, but it was popular in its day, and starred the heartthrob Rudolph Valentino, one of silent films' early superstars.  Our artifact, as you can see, isn't exactly a poster, but truly is an homage to this popular movie.
QUESTION:  Five years after the release of The Sheik, its sequel The Son of the Sheik was released.  Valentino again played the sheik, but who played his son in this rendition?
A)  Charlie Chaplin
B)  Rudolph Valentino
C)  Lionel Barrymore
D)  Ben Affleck

CASH OUT.  1933 was a tough year for Americans.  The Great Depression effected all but the wealthiest citizens, with around 25% unemployment.  By inauguration day, people were desperate for something to happen.  Franklin Roosevelt took office yesterday with comforting words, and promised hope.  He jumped head first into the problems of the day, starting with bank closings.  As banks with no support closed their doors, people lost their life savings.  So today, FDR declared an official "bank holiday."  He shut the banks down to give them a chance to recover from the economic shock of the times.  Odd though it sounds today, the act proved successful on many levels.  It didn't stop the depression, but it stabilized it.  At least a little.

IS IT AN ILLUSION?  Penn Jillette turns sixty today.  Hard to believe he has been making people laugh and gawk in amazement since he was in high school.  A love of juggling grew into performing with Raymond Teller as magicians/comedians.  Doing shows in Las Vegas, on television, and even in film, Penn & Teller have an expansive fan base.  Penn's booming voice can often be heard in narrations and commercials to this day.  Happy birthday, Penn, and keep us guessing!

QUOTE:  Tolerance is you saying something crazy and me smiling and saying, "That's nice."  - Penn Jillette

ANSWER:  B)  Rudolph Valentino.  He played dual roles in this, his final film.  He died of peritonitis at the young age of 31 only weeks before the film's release.  America's women were devastated.