Monthly Archives: January 2016

28 Jan 1923- Rudolph Valentino Again in Stolen Moments

Marguerite Namara, the famous and brilliant young American beauty who has won fame and fortune in two worlds by the voice and dramatic ability, has forsaken the operatic stage to conquer the world of the movies. Miss Namara will be seen at the Star Court Theatre in her big production, ‘Stolen Moments,” with Rudolph Valentino, of “The Sheik” fame, to-night. The management, of the Star Court Theatre, after much negotiation, secured this famous picture for a limited engagement, and consider it one. of the events of the season. The story of the photoplay is from the prolific pen of IT. Thompson Rich, who has written many of the most successful plays of the past few seasons. He was commissioned at. a high price to supply Madame Namara’s first, film vehicle, “and if the metropolitan critic know what they are talking about, his work ranks high among his notable achievements as a writer. One of the features of the production are the gowns worn by Miss Namara, which were designed by the famous Chicot, of Paris, and imported.to America especially for use in “Stolen Momenta.” Good, clever comedies are to-day as rare as philanthropists, and in “Just Out of College,” a master picture also shown here to night, a Beanford in the comedy line is presented. Clean, fascinating, and clever, it exudes the spirit of adventuresome youth, and builds up in climaxes that astound us with their uniqueness and complexity. The plot is based on love and pickles, so that sounds good enough, but the film will prove to be amusing and gripping as the best; you’ve ever seen.

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1920’s – Rudolph Valentino and NY Speakeasies

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Rudolph Valentino was a native New Yorker till the end of his days frequently returning to a place of friends, business connections, and favorite hang-outs. In the 1920’s, Rudolph Valentino was no different than any other famous man about town going to many famous establishments for dinner and entertainment. At the time, Speakeasy’s were the norm with over 30,000 in the city alone. There were a couple of speakeasy’s that were favorite places of his to visit the King Cole room at the Knickerbocker Hotel on West 42nd Street, and the 300 Club, at 151 W. 54th Street. Both were underground and successfully ran and the favorite hang-out of the rich, politicians, broadway and silent film actors of the day. The King Cole Room was famous for the invention of the Bloody Mary. Also, there is a lifelike picture of “Old King Cole and His Fiddlers Three” from the brush of Maxfield Parrish that still exists today. The walls and ceilings in the establishment were fitted in oak paneling and the tables were elaborately carved.
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The 300 Club named for the maximum amount of people allowed in the establishment. It was a place where Hollywood and NY agents would gather to meet with up and coming talent. Larry Fay who owned his own speakeasy on West 47th Street was able to convince his friend Texas Guinan to open her own establishment. The 300 Club was small and exclusive and a new home to city’s status elite. but the entertainment offered was very erotic for the time in the form of fan dancers. For more information please read Allen Ellenberger’s Book “The Valentino Mystique”.
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21 Sep 1957 – George Raft on Rudolph Valentino

One of the few souvenirs, I have left is a huge photograph of a dark, sultry young man with sleek black hair and most people say, “Why thats Rudolph Valentino. Did you know him”? Yes, I knew him intimately. We were ballroom gigolos together. But that man in the photo is not Valentino. Its me made up and photographed to look like Valentino. When Rudy died so tragically, the promoters were knocking on my door an hour after the funeral saying. “Here’s your chance Georgie. Your a dead ringer for Rudy and you can step right into his shoes”. They dressed me in a Gaucho costume and they took pictures. One enterprising theater man offered me $1500 a week if I’d work up an act with Jean Acker, Valentino’s first wife. I said the hell with it. But I keep the photograph on my bedroom wall just to remind me that no man can step into another’s shoes on resemblance alone.

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1924- When Valentino Went to Court

The result was that when Valentino arrived he had to have police assistance to force his way through the crowd of women that stormed the courtroom just to see him. Hundreds of women thronged the side-walks, refusing to obey the orders of the police to move on. They were on hand when Rudy arrived and there were more of them when he left, after paying half the bill of $165.00. It was ten minutes after he came out of the courtroom before the police could make a way for his automobile through the crowd. Such is the price of fame.

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1925 – Cobra Movie Revue

COBRA, with Rudolph Valentino, Nita Naldi, Casson Ferguson, Gertrude Olmstead, Claire de Orez, Eileen Percy, Lillian Langdon, Henry Barrows and Rosa Rosanova, adapted from Martin Brown’s play, directed by Joseph Henabery; divertissements, with singing and dancing; “M. W. Balfe,” one of the “Music Master” series; Kharum, Persian pianist. At the Rivoli Edmund Goulding, who has contributed some sterling adaptations to the screen, including that of “Tolable David.” falls far short of his usual standard in the picturization of the musical comedy, “Sally, Irene and Mary,” which he directed as well as adapted. This subject emerges from Hollywood as a species of “melodrama packed with trite ideas and appallingly obvious situations. It is a tawdry preachment concerned with the night life of gold-digging chorus girls, at the close of which the old-fashioned moral holds good. The captions allude to the “Wolves of Broadway.” and the libertine of this picture, Marcus Morton, is designated the “leader of the pack.” Judging from that which is thrown on the screen, Mr. Morton thinks of nothing else except stage beauties, and one opines that he looks in exceedingly good health considering the hours he keeps. Mr. Goulding reminds the spectators that a girl has been out all night, and he shows that she is still so full of life that she enthuse to her friends about the beautiful weather—the sun is pouring its rays through the window curtains. Mary, impersonated by Sally O’Neill, learns so much about the night life that she decides to refuse wealth and return to her Jimmy Dugan, a rather awkward young man who wears the same shirt day after day. Irene, who is loved by a millionaire, is killed in an automobile wreck, which tragedy brings home to the girls the error of their ways, or at least, the fact that they are playing with fire. There is quite an imposing sequence picturing a scene on the stage with the audience in the theatre. It is perhaps the best thing in this effort, and even this is spoiled at the end by a visitation of Irene’s ghost.No picture of this caliber would be quite complete without a moon. Here, through the clouds one perceives a new moon, which is followed by the frolicsome Mary and silk-shirted Jimmy embracing each other. For suspense there is the telegraph operator writing a message as it comes over the wire, with long pauses between words. The séance’s, in the vernacular, are made to suit the occasion, and as this operator writes, the scene is switched to one of a girl and a man in a car racing with an express train, the girl leaning over and kissing the man, when a baby might have known that it was a risky thing to do. Constance Bennett impersonates the more sophisticated of the trio of chorus girls. She is attractive and does as well as one can expect. Movies come and go but this is one that leaves the viewer a positive lasting impression.

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Jan 1925 – Motion PIcture Gossip

Rodolph Valentino after five days of fencing scenes, in “Monsieur Beaucaire” turned his back on the Paramount Studios on Long Island, New York and slipped off to Miami, Florida for a rest. When he returned he jumped right into the filming of the adaptation of Rex Beach’s story, “Ropes End”. Joseph Hembery is directing it.

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Success doesn’t consist of doing good work only. Above all you must keep your feet on the ground. – Rudplh Valentino, 1924

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