Monthly Archives: May 2019
When Rudolph Valentino, the Universal player drove his car to victory in the road race between Naples and Rome in 1905, he saw an amateur motion picture photographer grinding an ungainly looking camera at the finish line. The camera was set low to the road Valentino said, and as I swept by I thought for an instant that it was a hand organ and wondered if the monkey would get under my car. After the race, I examined the contrivance, and laughed in a superior sort of way when the fellow assured me that he had a splendid moving picture of me as I passed him at seventy miles an hour. A week later, the photographer sought admittance to the Valentino estate at Taranto and showed his film to the astonished young man. That evening the drawing room of the palatial home was turned into a motion picture theatre. With a crude projecting machine that jumped and flickered dismally, the photographer exhibited his film of the race. Little did Valentino think on that summer’s evening that he would one day be a celebrity of the screen and that he should have the distinction of supporting Dorothy Phillips as one of her leading men in her greatest Universal success “Once to Every Woman”.