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Beau Ideal (1931)

Passed | | Adventure, Romance, War | 25 January 1931 (USA)
An American joins the French Foreign Legion in order to rescue a boyhood friend.


Herbert Brenon


Percival Christopher Wren (by) (as Percival C. Wren), Elizabeth Meehan (adapted by) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Frank McCormick Frank McCormick ... Carl Meyer
Ralph Forbes ... John Geste
Lester Vail ... Otis Madison
Otto Matieson ... Jacob Levine (as Otto Matiesen)
Don Alvarado ... Ramon Gonzales
Bernard Siegel ... Ivan Badinoff
Irene Rich ... Lady Brandon
Myrtle Stedman ... Mrs. Frank Madison
Loretta Young ... Isobel Brandon
John St. Polis ... Judge Advocate (as John M. St. Polis)
Joe De Stefani Joe De Stefani ... Prosecuting Attorney (as Joseph De Stefani)
Paul McAllister Paul McAllister ... Sgt. Frederic
Hale Hamilton ... Maj. LeBaudy
George Regas ... The Emir
Leni Stengel ... Zuleika


In England, Otis Madison learns from the girl that he loves, Isobel Brandon, that the man she loves is his best friend, John Geste, and so there is nothing that Otis can do but stiffen his upper lip and set sail for Morocco and tell John that he is the man that Isobel loves. This is not easy to do as John is confined to a prison for disgraced Legionaires and the people who put him there aren't overly concerned about who Isobel loves. But the resourceful John promises his love to an Arabian beauty, Zuleika, the 'Angel of Death', which gets him out of prison, and then he has to go after the evil Emir who caused him to fall into disgrace. Isobel waits patiently in England. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Again the savage glamor of the Sahara....The Foreign Legion...a Reckless Regiment of Gallant Men and Adventurous Rascals in a Thrilling Tale only P. C. Wren can write! (original ad) See more »


Adventure | Romance | War


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 January 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El mismo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A colossal flop, the film lost nearly $350,000, an astronomical amount of money in the early 1930s. As a result, the story of the Geste family was considered such a financial risk that producers weren't sure that making Beau Geste (1939) eight years later was a good idea. See more »


When the Emir(George Regas) halts his caravan to "rescue" Ralph Forbes and Lester Vail from the grain pit,he twice shouts instructions in Greek instead of Arabic: This was the native language of Mr. Regas. See more »


Follows Beau Sabreur (1928) See more »


Oriental Atmosphere
Music by J.S. Zamecnik
Synchro Fox Music Library
See more »

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User Reviews

The loyalty of Camelot in an underground Arabian prison.
25 June 2016 | by Greg_DeaneSee all my reviews

It's too bad they don't make films like this anymore. They apparently used the wrong sorts of camels. I think they also used Europeans instead of Arabs, but as none of the Arabs do anything important, except for one or two of the most atrocious and treacherous ones, it doesn't matter.

It could be a film noir, with the grim prison cell in stark contrast to the childhood Camelot at the opening. I think it was too early for the genre, but it's very dark, with the abandoned prisoners starving to death in the underground silo. But there is a happy ending, especially as the hero is freed from his promise to marry the half-caste who hated living among brown people. In fact, I think it's racism is cheerily redemptive, and no one of importance dies in the silo.

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