Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Thoughts on the Valentino silents?


Recommended Posts

If (like me) you're still getting through the rare Rudolph Valentino silents that just had their world television premiere on TCM this past Sunday night, perhaps you haven't thought to post your comments here yet. I'm kind of surprised to be the first one to bring up this subject in this forum.

 

I saw Beyond the Rocks (1922) this AM and was so impressed by the lavishness of its sets and locales that included the coast where Valentino first meets (by rescuing) Gloria Swanson, the Swiss Alps where he rescues her again, then Versailles followed by the African desert. Overall, a very good silent that I'd easily recommend to anyone who hasn't seen it. Plus, except for a few spots, the print was very clear.

 

I've written a complete synopsis of Moran of the Lady Letty (1922) on my website, and also added several corrections to imdb.com's listing for this film.

 

I haven't seen The Young Rajah (1922) yet, but did watch The Delicious Little Devil (1919) and thought it was simple yet amusing. The plot seemed oddly familiar, but I can't place it.

 

The first one I saw was Stolen Moments (1920), which may have been better if they'd found (and restored) all of it. This "cut" version, meant to emphasize Valentino after he'd become a star, loses a lot wrt continuity such that it's somewhat confusing. For instance, it wasn't at all clear to me whether Marguerite Namara's character actually killed him, and the man was covering up for her, or his retelling was of the actual event. Plus, I got the impression that this man was her brother or some other relation. I'm not sure the brief synopsis found in TCM's database is entirely accurate. Can anyone else clear this up for me?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank God for dvd-r because I wasn't about to miss the Valentino marathon. However, I haven't been able to sit down yet and watch them. I did see about 20 minutes of Beyond the Rocks, and was completely amazed at the scenery and the photography seeing how this movie is over 80 years old. Hopefully this weekend I can take the time to sit down and watch them, I'm looking forward to it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally got to see The Young Rajah myself and was quite disappointed. There isn't much to it, a major portion of it has been restored via stills which ordinarily is O.K. (having seen many other silents this way), but didn't work for this one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed the Valentino marathon last Sunday. I finally got to see "Stolen Moments" and "Moran of the Lady Letty". They were all great films. I love Rudolph Valentino. He's my favorite silent film actor. He's wonderful!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was stunned when I saw The Young Rajah. This 1922 film, possibly lost before the silent era came to its untimely end, was eerily similar to the [i]Harry Potter[/i] books.

 

In both stories a young man with exceptional abilities is attacked by dark forces in his youth. Both main charcters are carried to safety by allies to a distant place, outside their culture. Both characters are marked with a distinguishing scar on the forehead. Both encounter great difficulties when they go to school (Hogswart for one, Harvard for the other). Both have climactic duels with their chief nemisis.

 

There can be no possible hint of plagiarism. It is odd though how the two stories line up. Not enough to make me suspicious - just enough to make me smile.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

i loved them. =) of course i find it hard not to love a heartthrob like Valentino.

 

it was interesting to see the golden gate without the bridge in Moran of the Lady Letty.

 

i was surprised by the young rajah because it seemed like such a taboo subject to have an Indian man marrying a white girl. that plot element seems pretty progressive for the period.

 

i hope they put these on DVD because i'd like to watch them again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally enjoyed this run of films. I TiVo'd all of them, have watched most of them (haven't watched "Delicious Little Devil" or "Moran of the Lady Letty" yet - I'm pacing myself as this may be the last time I ever have 'new' Valentino films!), and I thought the whole thing was just wonderful.

 

It is true that some of the films were better than others - I agree that "Stolen Moments" might have been better in the uncut version, for example. But it is so wonderful to have more of Valentino's films in circulation - so many of his films are presumed to be lost, so it was a wonderful treat to see these.

 

Outside of Charlie Chaplin, Valentino is my favorite silent film star, and it was great to see more of his work. Of the 'new' ones, I particularly enjoyed "Beyond the Rocks" and "The Young Rajah", but all of these were worth seeing. And it's always great to watch "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" - what a great film that is!!!

 

Now if they could only get "An Adventuress" (1920) made available to the general public, I'd be happy. This film exists in an archive, but so far has not been made available, to my knowledge.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...