Cast & Crew
Bored with her job at a candy factory in Cedar Rapids, Susie Skubblegrave becomes enchanted with the Middle East and quits her job to travel there in search of adventure. During the cruise abroad, she is befriended by Princess Shareen and becomes her traveling companion. In the small Arabian town of Al Bazzar, Shareen confesses to Susie that her life is in danger as she is the only surviving child of the great Sheik Fared, who died bringing peace to his country. At his death, however, the wicked Jamal took over the reins of power and stripped the people of their weapons, leaving them unable to fight. Shareen has been wandering abroad since her father's death but is returning now at the behest of a faction led by Majeed, Shareen's betrothed, who wish to see Fared's family restored to the throne. Shareen pleads with Susie to take her place to meet Jamal while she meets Majeed in the desert. Susie agrees and the following day after Shareen's departure, is welcomed as the princess by Jamal's representatives, Hassan and Sarab. They inform the "princess" that Jamal is solicitous of her return and honor her by presenting Abdul Nassib, ruler of a neighboring land, as her future husband. Startled, Susie nevertheless agrees to go to Jamal's palace. On the journey an old beggar presents Susie with a tiny scroll, which he says, contains the future of their country. Meanwhile, Shareen meets Majeed, who expresses surprise at seeing her as word had reached them that the princess was being taken to the palace. Realizing Susie is in danger, Shareen insists she be rescued. Majeed laments that his men have no guns, but have been hoping to discover the location of Jamal's secret arsenal. When a neighboring tribe suddenly attacks Majeed's camp, Shareen heads for the palace. Shareen finds Susie fending off the amorous advances of the weighty Abdul, and the women try to escape. Shareen is captured by the palace guards, but Susie finds herself in Hassan's room, where she overhears a conversation revealing the arsenal is in the dungeon of the ruins of El Haroon, to which Hassan has the keys. While Hassan naps, Susie steals the keys and evades several guards by hiding in a room with Jamal's harem girls. Hoping to blend in, Susie dresses as a dancer and performs for Jamal and Abdul, but when she is discovered, leaps from the window, landing in a vegetable cart, where Majeed rescues her. Later at his camp, Majeed tells Susie that an announcement has been made about Shareen's wedding to Abdul, set for the next day. Susie presents him with the arsenal keys and the scroll, which is in cipher. Majeed orders that all the rebel tribes and townspeople be alerted to attack Jamal the next day after they are provided with the arsenal arms. As they depart the camp, however, Majeed and his men are intercepted by Jamal and his men, and Majeed is quickly apprehended. Jamal discovers the scroll and recognizes it as the directions to the country's rich oil reserves, but is furious at not having the cipher key. As Jamal considers what to do, Majeed's right-hand man, Khalil, and the men kidnap Abdul and demand a trade for Majeed, but Jamal refuses. Khalil decides they must continue with Majeed's plan and ride to El Haroon in search of the arsenal. Several of Jamal's men follow and attempt to attack Susie and the men, but are foiled. Just as Susie stumbles upon the arsenal in a cave, Abdul manages to escape, having overheard all the attack plans. Khalil frets about not having time to transport the guns to the tribe and townspeople in time, but Susie volunteers to return to the palace to divert Jamal. At the palace, Jamal decides to marry Shareen to Hassan in Abdul's absence, then discovers his henchman has fled. Susie slips into the palace disguised as a man and disrupts the harem girls when she sneaks into their room. In an attempt to subdue the women, Susie stirs them to organize against Jamal and demand better working conditions. Certain of a forthcoming attack, Jamal demands that Majeed disclose where it will occur, but they are interrupted by the return of an exhausted Abdul, who reveals the attack plans. Jamal insists the wedding between Shareen and Abdul proceed, and when Shareen protests and a scuffle ensues, Jamal discovers that Shareen's ancient family ring contains the key to the scroll's cipher. As the wedding ceremony begins, the harem girls start their dance only to sit down abruptly and refuse to carry on. When Jamal orders the palace guard to arrest the women, they refuse as the women are their girl friends. Jamal then commands the army to come in, and a skirmish breaks out between the guard and the soldiers. In the melee, Susie steals the army's guns and drops them to the townspeople and Majeed's men, who are still waiting for Khalil. When Khalil and the rebels arrive, they subdue Jamal's men and Jamal is arrested and presented to the French Foreign Legion. Susie wins the award money for turning in Jamal and decides her next adventure should be with the Foreign Legion.
Although the CBCS lists the character of Joan Davis as "Susie Perkins," in a brief voice-over at the film's opening, she introduces herself as "Susie Skubblegrave." Harem Girl was the final film made by Davis, who went on to star in a television series before her death in 1961.