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6/25/17 Episode 55: The Son of the Sheik (1926)

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Years ago, I lived in San Francisco's Tenderloin District in a beautiful building called the Alhambra. I took a cab home and the driver told me during the 1920s, Rudy Valentino owned the building, and, he had one floor filled with women, and another filled with men. Whether it's true or not matters little to the myth of Rudolph Valentino or the skankiness of my block. Why wouldn't my place be a multi-storied whorehouse warehouse for Valentino? He's Valentino, the sexiest movie star I've read about but never watched one of his films until now. (Also, thank God my cabbie wasn't taking me to the St. Francis Hotel.)

In his best-known film, The Son of the Sheik (1926), Valentino plays both the son of the Sheik, and the Sheik himself, reprising his role in his earlier film, The Sheik (1921). That's right, this is the first movie sequel where the lead plays multiple roles and the lead isn't Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Medea, Steve Carrell, or Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Like The Jazz Singer (1927), the cinematic innovations of Son of the Sheik are overshadowed by the balls-out racism of white guys covered in burnt cork. One character's named Ramandan, ffs.

Co-host Carl is relieved we're watching a good movie after last episode's Futz! 

Comedian Pam Benjamin is our guest.

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