In 1922 Edith M. Hull’s novel The Sheik placed second on the bestseller list, up from sixth place the year before. Except as an historical curiosity, The Sheik is not worth reading.
However, with its exotic setting in the North African desert and it’s scandalous story about a British woman kidnapped and raped by a swarthy tribal commander, the novel seemed tailor-made for the cinema.
In 1921, it was turned into a black and white movie staring Rudolph Valentino as Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan. The film version is available online from Black and White Movies.