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Rudolph Valentino Died 90 Years Ago Today


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I wonder how true Ken Russell's "Valentino" was to the legend of Rudolph Valentino.

 

From the few films that I have seen, Rudolph Valentino was a figure of pure romance.

 

"The Sheik", in all of its' silent-screen glory, must've entranced women and gay men world-wide.

 

Reportedly, the screen Valentino was "the creation" of his supposedly lesbian wife, Natacha Rambova.

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I wonder how true Ken Russell's "Valentino" was to the legend of Rudolph Valentino.

 

From the few films that I have seen, Rudolph Valentino was a figure of pure romance.

 

"The Sheik", in all of its' silent-screen glory, must've entranced women and gay men world-wide.

 

Reportedly, the screen Valentino was "the creation" of his lesbian wife. 

 

In one of the newspaper images I posted, it says men were part of the stampede. It's interesting how Valentino had such an impact on all kinds of people. If he had lived to 100, outlasting many of the mourners, we wouldn't have those headlines or proof that Hollywood and its stars influence audiences like they do.

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     It's amazing that Valentino and his legend still live on 90 years after his death.

I wonder if he would still be a legend had he lived into the talkies. His foreign accent might have

hindered him. Also, the passage of time would have made his "type" antiquated.

I remember reading his co-star Agnes Ayres mentioning that the most important thing Valentino did was to die.

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     It's amazing that Valentino and his legend still live on 90 years after his death.

I wonder if he would still be a legend had he lived into the talkies. His foreign accent might have

hindered him. Also, the passage of time would have made his "type" antiquated.

I remember reading his co-star Agnes Ayres mentioning that the most important thing Valentino did was to die.

 

Yes, like James Dean and Heath Ledger, dying young sort of cemented his status as a sex symbol. It made him more "immortal" than he might actually have been if he had lived to a ripe old age and died quietly at the Country Home in Woodland Hills.

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In one of the newspaper images I posted, it says men were part of the stampede. It's interesting how Valentino had such an impact on all kinds of people. If he had lived to 100, outlasting many of the mourners, we wouldn't have those headlines or proof that Hollywood and its stars influence audiences like they do.

His long-lost film, "Beyond The Rocks" with Gloria Swanson, was finally found in 2002 and later released on DVD.

 

His long-suspected "femininity" followed him throughout most of his career.   

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Swanson said she and Rudy used to ride horses together in the Hollywood hills and that he was always a gentleman and they worked well together. She had nothing bad to say about him, but thought Pola Negri made an **** of herself at the hospital, the funeral parlor, and after. Swanson thought the "romance" was all a PR ploy ... like their famous feud.

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His death caused riots in the streets......

 

My mother never grew tired of telling me about an incident the day that Valentino died. She lived in a very small Midwestern City. I think they had radio, but of course there was no television.

 

She said she found out that Valentino was dead when she went outside and looked up in the sky.

 

An airplane was Sky writing:

 

 

"Valentino is dead."

 

 

And when I think about the kind of communication we have today, I always think the past was limited. But if it was something important like that--all you had to do was look out the window and you could see it.

 

So, I'm guessing Valentino's death was a big deal all over the United States for women.

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I remember watching the news on this day in 1966 and they mentioned that Francis X. Bushman passed away and that it was the 40th anniversary of Valentino's death.

 

40 years? To a 14-year-old, that was close to forever. Now here I am remembering something from 50 years ago and I feel so ancient now. That night I went to a screening that William K. Everson was holding, he was playing the 1936 SHOW BOAT which could not be promoted. MGM owned the rights and they did not allow any screenings lest it compete with their later remake.

 

Yet without anything other than word-of-mouth, the 80 seat screening room was SRO. I didn't get to see the film again until TNT aired it in the late 80s.

 

 

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I would love to see the screen bio that starred Anthony Dexter.

 

It aired back in the summer of 2013 when Eleanor Parker was Star of the Month. It was a garish looking print, badly in need of restoration.

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I would love to see the screen bio that starred Anthony Dexter.

 

TCM aired it as part of the Eleanor Parker tribute a couple of years ago. The best that I can say of it is that with Parker, Patricia Medina and Dona Drake, it has some fine looking women but while Anthony Dexter looks like Valentino, he's about as animated as Valentino was in 1951.

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I have affection for Valentino, having seen all of his major films (including Monsieur Beaucaire which, unfortunately, is hard to find in a good looking print).

 

But my affection for him as a screen figure is largely based upon his last two films, THE EAGLE and SON OF THE SHEIK. Not only did both of these films show that he could be completely convincing as an action hero but that he had a sense of humour, as well (something not apparent in his earlier films). That humour is particularly apparent in The Eagle.

 

The actor was greatly incensed by the "Pink Powder Puff" newspaper editorial that slurred his manhood. I've read that when he was in the hospital soon afterward dying in great pain from peritonitis he was very stoic. At one point before falling into a coma he turned to a visitor in the hospital room and asked him, "And now am I a pink powder puff?"

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