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A Harem Knight (1926)

Passed | | Short, Comedy | 7 November 1926 (USA)
A pretty harem girl is rescued by a U. S. Navy officer. Whilst fleeing from the guards the girl takes refuge in the rooms of the notorious Rodney St. Clair, an erring Knight, who is proud ... See full summary »


Grover Jones (story), Robert Eddy (story) | 5 more credits »




Cast overview:
Ben Turpin ... Rodney St. Clair
Madeline Hurlock ... Princess Manda
Danny O'Shea Danny O'Shea ... Lt. DuBarry - Aviator
Marvin Loback Marvin Loback ... The Rajah of Barbaria
Louise Carver ... Petunia - the Rajah's Sister
Dave Morris Dave Morris ... The Prefect
Barney Hellum Barney Hellum ... The Rajah's Valet


A pretty harem girl is rescued by a U. S. Navy officer. Whilst fleeing from the guards the girl takes refuge in the rooms of the notorious Rodney St. Clair, an erring Knight, who is proud of his long list of feminine conquests. But the Navy officer again comes to her rescue, and Sir Rodney is left to marry the harem's fattest woman after she puts a love potion in his drink. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy








Release Date:

7 November 1926 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ben in Society See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mack Sennett Comedies See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Mack Sennett's favorite bathing beauty Thelma Hill appears uncredited as a harem girl. See more »

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User Reviews

Turpin as Rodney St. Clair heartbreaker v Biggles from nowhere
26 November 2017 | by kekseksaSee all my reviews

The films in which Turpin plays the character Rodney St. Clair are curious because there seems no consistency whatsoever to the character. Something of an innocent abroad he had by this time morphed into an elegant playboy - international love-pirate and notorious stealer of other men's wives. This continues a fascination with parodying the voyeuristic style of Von Stroheim which began in the 1924 film Three Foolish Weeks, a combined parody of Stroheim's Foolish Wives (1921) and Alan Crosland's film version of Elinor Glyn's celebrated but utterly ridiculous steamy novel of casual sex, Three Weeks (1914). Here Ben lays Baron Sergius Rodney St. Clair (the name Sergius taken from that of the Stroheim character in Foolish Wives). He would again very explicitly parody Stroheim as Baron Bonamo in The Pride of Pikeville (1927). In between comes this Rodney St. Clair film, where he is seemingly the same chaarcter (he has a portrait of himself in the Stroheim get-up) and which actually works rather well, with Madeline Hurlock very good as the harem escapee playing off playboy Ben Turpin against her real lover, the "unknown aviator".

Although it does not appear to be parody of any particular film, it successfully combines tropes familiar from many US sex-fantasy films of the twenties (including a reverse version of the kiss that causes the recipient to faint from the same year's John Barrymore effort The Sea Beast (a version of Moby Dick that is definitely more dick than moby). All in all this Turpin captures captures quite accurately the essentially puerile, voyeuristic appeal of such films. Stroheim was a genius in a class of his own but the majority of the sub-Valentino output (and much of the Valentino output itself) was simply laughable. Parodies abound at this period precisely because of the maladroitness of US attempts to produce films with "adult" films on the European model. Valentino was barely cold in his grave before The Sheik caused unintended mirth amongst its audiences.

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