Event Information

A rare opportunity to see one of the most popular films of the silent era featuring its famous star - Rudolph Valentino. 

Based on the original best-selling novel by E. M. Hull, The Sheik (1921) is a whirlwind romance following brave, boyish Lady Diana Mayo as she is kidnapped by Sheik Ahmed Ben Hussein and whisked away into the desert. The sheik is perhaps Rudolph Valentino’s most iconic role, transforming him into an international sex symbol and cementing his ‘Latin lover’ reputation. The silent film also stars Agnes Ayres as Diana. As one of the most popular films of its time, particularly amongst female audiences, The Sheik firmly cemented the cinema as a space for the expression and as the object of female desire, a legacy that can be seen in modern-day romantic comedies. 

The Sheik is being shown as part of an event marking the centenary of E. M. Hull’s novel, first published in 1919. The screening will be followed by a panel arranged by the University of Birmingham discussing the film.


Please see our current Visitor Guidelines. MAC’s reopening cinema programme has been generously supported by BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience fund from the National Lottery, through the BFI Film Audience Fund. Duration includes trailers and adverts. Please note that we do not admit latecomers after the main feature has started and we have a limited food & drink policy. See more information about Relaxed Screenings here.