The Arab (1924 film)

Last updated

The Arab
Az arab magyar filmplakat (Nemes Gyorgy, 1924).jpg
Movie poster in Hungarian
Directed by Rex Ingram
Screenplay byRex Ingram
Based onThe Arab, A Play (1911)
by Edgar Selwyn
Produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Cinematography John F. Seitz
Edited by Grant Whytock
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn Pictures
Release date
  • July 21, 1924 (1924-07-21) [1]
CountryUnited States
Languages Silent film
English intertitles

The Arab is a 1924 American silent drama film starring Ramon Novarro and Alice Terry, written and directed by Rex Ingram, based on a 1911 play by Edgar Selwyn.



Jamil (Ramon Novarro) is a soldier in the Bedouin defense forces during a war between Syria and Turkey, who has deserted his regiment. In a remote village, he encounters an orphan asylum run by American missionaries Dr. Hilbert (Jerrold Robertshaw) and his daughter Mary (Alice Terry). The village is attacked by the Turks, and its ruler, eager to placate the invaders, intends to hand over the children for slaughter; he disguises his intentions under a move to Damascus for their safety.

The Bedouins arrive at the scene and reveal that Jamil is the son of the tribal leader. With his father's death revealed, Jamil becomes the new leader of the tribe, which endows him with a sense of responsibility. Risking his own life, he proceeds to save the children, defeating the Turks and the local leader in the process (and winning the girl).


Production background

The movie was filmed in North Africa just before the MGM merger, and edited under the new regime. Ingram reacted negatively to the supervision of studio bosses Mayer and Thalberg. He was backed by the New York powers of Marcus Loew and Nicholas Schenck and moved to the French Riviera, where all his subsequent films were made. [2]

Preservation status

This is one of 12 surviving films of Terry. A print is preserved in the Russian archive Gosfilmofond and a digitally-preserved print was presented to the Library of Congress in October 2010. [3] Another copy is located in the Cinematheque Royale de Belgique in Brussels. [4]


The film was remade as The Barbarian (1933) again with Novarro and co-starring Myrna Loy.


  1. "The Arab". Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  2. Eames, John Douglas (1981). The MGM Story, p. 12.
  3. Bennett, Carl, ed. (January 26, 2015). "The Arab". Progressive Silent Film List via Silent Era.
  4. Pierce, David (October 8, 2015). "The Arab/Rex Ingram". American Silent Feature Film Survival Database. Library of Congress. Retrieved November 6, 2015.

Related Research Articles

Rex Ingram (director) Irish film director

Rex Ingram was an Irish film director, producer, writer, and actor. Director Erich von Stroheim once called him "the world's greatest director".

Ramon Novarro Mexican-American actor

José Ramón Gil Samaniego, known professionally as Ramon Novarro, was a Mexican-American actor. He began his career in silent films in 1917 and eventually became a leading man and one of the top box office attractions of the 1920s and early 1930s. Novarro was promoted by MGM as a "Latin lover" and became known as a sex symbol after the death of Rudolph Valentino.

<i>Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ</i> (1925 film) 1925 film

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is a 1925 American silent epic adventure-drama film directed by Fred Niblo and written by June Mathis based on the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by General Lew Wallace. Starring Ramon Novarro as the title character, the film is the first feature-length adaptation of the novel and second overall, following the 1907 short.

Metro Pictures Defunct American film studio

Metro Pictures Corporation was a motion picture production company founded in early 1915 in Jacksonville, Florida. It was a forerunner of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The company produced its films in New York, Los Angeles, and sometimes at leased facilities in Fort Lee, New Jersey. It was purchased in 1919.

<i>The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse</i> (1921 film) 1921 film by Rex Ingram

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a 1921 American silent epic war film produced by Metro Pictures Corporation and directed by Rex Ingram. Based on the 1916 Spanish novel The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, it was adapted for the screen by June Mathis. The film stars Pomeroy Cannon, Josef Swickard, Bridgetta Clark, Rudolph Valentino, Wallace Beery, and Alice Terry.

Alice Terry American actress (1899–1987)

Alice Frances Taaffe, known professionally as Alice Terry, was an American film actress and director. She began her career during the silent film era, appearing in thirty-nine films between 1916 and 1933. While Terry's trademark look was her blonde hair, she was actually a brunette, and put on her first blonde wig in Hearts Are Trumps (1920) to look different from Francelia Billington, the other actress in the film. Terry played several different characters in the 1916 anti-war film Civilization, co-directed by Thomas H. Ince and Reginald Barker. Alice wore the blonde wig again in her most acclaimed role as "Marguerite" in film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), and kept the wig for any future roles. In 1925 her husband Rex Ingram co-directed Ben-Hur, filming parts of it in Italy. The two decided to move to the French Riviera, where they set up a small studio in Nice and made several films on location in North Africa, Spain, and Italy for MGM and others. In 1933, Terry made her last film appearance in Baroud, which she also co-directed with her husband.

Through a Naked Lens is a 2005 American play by author George Barthel. It received its world premiere Off-Broadway at the Wings Theatre in New York City. The play itself uses historical evidence and imagined circumstances to depict the rise of early Hollywood film star Ramón Novarro. While a celebration of Novarro’s life, the drama is told largely through the perspective of reporter Herbert Howe. While Barthel places Howe and Novarro in a romantic relationship, it is unknown if such a connection actually existed. Howe did, however, spend a great deal of time with Novarro as his publicist. The play also features Alice Terry, Rex Ingram, Irving Thalberg, Jim Quirk, Adela Rogers St. Johns, and Louis B. Mayer as characters.

<i>The Midshipman</i> 1925 film

The Midshipman is a 1925 American silent romantic drama film directed by Christy Cabanne. The film stars Ramon Novarro and Harriet Hammond. Joan Crawford had an early uncredited role as an extra.

<i>Scaramouche</i> (1923 film) 1923 film by Rex Ingram

Scaramouche (1923) is a silent swashbuckler film based on the 1921 novel Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini, directed by Rex Ingram, released by Metro Pictures, and starring Ramón Novarro, Alice Terry, Lewis Stone, and Lloyd Ingraham.

<i>The Arab</i> (1915 film) 1915 film

The Arab is a 1915 American silent adventure film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Edgar Selwyn wrote and starred in the Broadway play version of the story in 1911, and this film is based on that play. Selwyn reprises his role from his play. This film was refilmed by Metro Pictures in 1924 as The Arab. The film is now lost.

<i>The Prisoner of Zenda</i> (1922 film) 1922 film directed by Rex Ingram

The Prisoner of Zenda is a 1922 American silent adventure film directed by Rex Ingram, one of the many adaptations of Anthony Hope's popular 1894 novel The Prisoner of Zenda and the subsequent 1896 play by Hope and Edward Rose.

The Barbarian, also known as A Night in Cairo, is a 1933 American pre-Code romantic drama film produced and directed by Sam Wood and starring Ramon Novarro and Myrna Loy. Written by Elmer Harris and Anita Loos, and based on the 1911 play The Arab by Edgar Selwyn, the film is about an American woman tourist in Egypt who has several suitors, among them an Arab guide who is more than he seems. The film was released on May 12, 1933 in the United States by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The play had been filmed previously by MGM as The Arab (1924) with Novarro and Alice Terry.

<i>Rosita</i> (film) 1923 film

Rosita is a 1923 American silent historical comedy drama film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Mary Pickford. The film is based upon an 1872 opera Don César de Bazan of Adolphe d'Ennery and Philippe Dumanoir.

<i>The Garden of Allah</i> (1927 film) 1927 film by Rex Ingram

The Garden of Allah is a 1927 American silent romantic drama film directed by Rex Ingram, his final film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film stars Ingram’s wife, actress Alice Terry and Iván Petrovich. It is the second version of the Robert Hichens 1904 British novel of the same name, which had been filmed by the Selig Polyscope Company in 1916 with Helen Ware and would be filmed again in 1936 with Marlene Dietrich and Charles Boyer.

<i>Trifling Women</i> 1922 film by Rex Ingram

Trifling Women is a 1922 American silent romantic drama film directed by Rex Ingram. It is credited with boosting the careers of its leads, Barbara La Marr and Ramon Novarro. It has been described as Ingram's most personal film.

<i>Where the Pavement Ends</i> 1923 film by Rex Ingram

Where the Pavement Ends is a 1923 American silent South Seas romantic drama film directed by Rex Ingram on location in Cuba and starring his wife Alice Terry and Ramón Novarro as lovers. The film was produced and distributed by Metro Pictures. It is now considered to be a lost film. Shooting began in September 1922, at Hialeah Studios in Miami, Florida, yet another source says the film was shot in Coconut Grove, Florida.

<i>The Pagan</i> 1929 film

The Pagan is a 1929 silent/part talking romantic drama filmed in Tahiti and produced and distributed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Both director W.S. Van Dyke and cinematographer Clyde De Vinna had previously visited Tahiti in 1928 to film White Shadows in the South Seas. The Pagan stars Ramón Novarro.

Photoplay Productions is an independent film company, based in the UK, under the direction of Kevin Brownlow and Patrick Stanbury. Is one of the few independent companies to operate in the revival of interest in the lost world of silent cinema and has been recognised as a driving force in the subject.

<i>Lovers</i> (1927 film) 1927 film

Lovers or Lovers? is a 1927 silent film romance drama produced and distributed by MGM and directed by John M. Stahl. It stars Ramon Novarro and Alice Terry. It is based on the 1908 play The World and His Wife and is a remake of a 1920 silent of the same name from Paramount. Lovers is a lost film.

Pierre Paul Vermoyal was a French stage and film actor.