Lewis Milestone

T. it.: Una notte in Arabia; Sog.: dall’omonimo racconto di Donald McGibney; Scen.: James T. O‘Donohoe, Wallace Smith; Tit.: George Marion Jr.; F.: Tony Gaudio, Joseph August; Scgf.: William Cameron Menzies; Ass. R.: Nate Watt; Int.: William Boyd (W. Dangerfield Phelps), Mary Astor (Anis Bin Adham/Mirza), Louis Wolheim (serg. Peter McGaffney), Michael Vavitch (l’emiro di Jaffa), Ian Keith (Shevket), De Witt Jennings (il console americano), Michael Visaroff, Boris Karloff; Prod.: Howard Hughes, John W. Considine Jr. per Caddo Company NTSC Digital Video. D.: 91’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

In early 1927, Howard Hughes met and “became fascinated by the pin-cheeked, plump young Russian-American director Lewis Milestone,” according to biographer Charles Higham. Milestone, who had served in the aerial-camera division of the U.S. Army Air Corps, was able to offer Hughes — then a successful 21-year-old industrialist and aviation enthusiast — tips on an aviation story he was interested in producing as a film. The aviation film would evolve as Hell’s Angels (1930), which Hughes would also direct. In the meantime Milestone had a film idea of his own to pitch to the neophyte producer: Two Arabian Knights. The movie relates the adventures of a sergeant and a private who are captured by the Germans and escape by disguising themselves as Arabs. Dispatched to the Middle East, both doughboys fall for a beautiful Arabian princess, but must deal with a gang of cut-throats led by her father. At the 1927-28 ceremonies, Milestone won the only Academy Award ever presented for “Best Comedy Direction”. Milestone’s fellow nominees were Charles Chaplin for The Circus (1928) and Ted Wilde for the Harold Lloyd vehicle Speedy (1928).

Roger Fristoe

Copy From

New 2004 digital edition produced by Flicker Alley, LLC for Turner Classic Movies from 35mm materials housed as part of the Howard Hughes Collection at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas New orchestral score by Robert Israel