Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rudolph Valentino

In 1926 the tragic and untimely death of a silent screen actor caused female moviegoers to riot in the streets and in some cases to commit suicide - that actor was Rudolph Valentino. Ballroom dancer Valentino manipulated his good looks and animal-like grace into a Hollywood career. His smouldering love making, tinged with a touch of masterful cruelty, expressed a sexuality which was at once both shocking and sensual.
Valentino is a Ken Russell film very loosely based on the life of Rudolph Valentino as recounted in the book Valentino, an Intimate Exposé of the Sheik, written by Chaw Mank and Brad Steiger. The film starred Rudolf Nureyev, Michelle Phillips, Leslie Caron, and Carol Kane.
Nuryev with unknown dog

The film was a commercial and critical failure. Most reviewers agreed there was 'too much sex' and sub-par acting, including that of the leads. Many felt that the historical inaccuracies had not gotten past 'the legend to the man'.
Russell fans were not pleased with the film, and the director himself later denounced it, saying, 'What idiot made this?' The film cost $5 million, his most expensive film to that date. The commercial failure almost ended his career.
Natacha Rambova, wife of Rudolph Valentino

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