Cheesy and racist. That Valentino's maniacal leers and bug-eyed expressions were seen as the last word in sexiness suggests that 1921 American men were a pathetic bunch and that the women were sozzled on bathtub gin.
Right. Just as pathetic as I imagined (the race issue, the bizarre Stockholm syndrome love story, the reveal of the sheik's past etc.), but the main attraction that is Rudolph Valentino intrigued me. I've read his biography, but I can't remember much of what it said about his acting style. I just hope this is his cheesiest performance, because I don't know if I can handle any more of the bulging eyes... (continues)