|TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS (director: Lewis Milestone; screenwriters: Wallace Smiyh/James T. O'Donohoe/George Marion, Jr. (titles)/from story by Donald McGibney; cinematographer: Antonio Gaudio; editors: Douglas Biggs; music: Robert Israel; cast: William Boyd (Private Phelp), Louis Wolheim (Sergeant McGaffney), Boris Karloff (Purser), Ian Keith (Shevket), Mary Astor (Anis bin Adham/Mirza), Michael Vavitch (Emir of Jaffa; Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Howard Hughes/John W. Considine, Jr.; TCM/Caddo/UA; 1927-silent)|
by Dennis Schwartz
silent has never been released on DVD.
Russian-American director Lewis Milestone ("Halls
of Montezuma") adapts a story by Donald
McGibney and shows an ability to draw laughs
from the slapdash comedy. Writers Wallace
Smiyh and James T. O'Donohoe worked on the
Phelps (William Boyd (known
later for playing Hopalong Cassidy) and
Sergeant McGaffney (Louis
Wolheim) are bickering
American soldiers who are captured by the
Germans while fighting each other in a foxhole
during World War I and sent to a snowy German
POW camp. Disguised as Arabs, the prisoners make-up to
escape together but are recaptured and about to be
taken to Turkey with Arab POWs. Instead the boys
become stowaways on a steamer bound for Arabia. When
an Arab vessel carrying a veiled princess, Mirza (Mary
Astor), is shipwrecked on Arabia waters, the soldiers
jump in the cold water to come to the rescue. At an
Arab palace they observe that Mirza must go through
with an arranged marriage to an evil bey (Ian
Keith) and rescue her. They flee with Mirza and
the private vows to marry her.
The dated comedy might not work today, but during its day it received much praise.
REVIEWED ON 3/5/2017 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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