16 May 1924 – Valentino in Miami Asks Chance to Rest

It must be different if Rudolph Valentino is in it, for he said so himself to the Miami News representative Friday when interviewed Friday. “Stop right there” pleaded the Sheik “only say I have been in Florida or Miami but please don’t tell where my cottage is.  The interviewer tried to console the star with assurances the Florida Keys for which he sailed almost at dawn Saturday morning are an excellent place to get lost if he really wants to escape the maddening crowd.  Still he said he did not want his name in the paper as he is here strictly to rest. But worse, than that he had an enormous police dog and a stern physical director at his cottage and both, less than one-half hour earlier, refused to let the reporter see Mr. Valentino. “Yes, we have no publicity today”. Was the sum and substance of the P.D.’s conversation after he called off the dog.  The dog, which looks every inch a sheik of canines, however, refused to function in breaking up the interview when Valentino was caught sauntering around the old Lake Placid school grounds during the shooting of some scene’s for Betty Compton.  In fact, the interviewer found much more satisfaction to pat said dog’s strong head than to twiddle a pencil with proverbial nervousness in the presence of a celebrity. It is only one week off, which Mr. Valentino claims between the completion of Monsieur Beaucaire and the start of his next picture to be set in South America. But this brings back a starting point, for Rudolph Valentino must have things different or not at all.  At the first mention of sheiking, up went his finger and his quick, soft but positive voice was saying “Ah only once, why repeat”? Ask Mr. Valentino about the trend of modern movie pictures in theme, in setting, in cost, in acting and every time he says “it must be different” so Valentino fans need not expect to see him over and over again playing a type of role “they love to see him in.” Producers, said Mr. Valentino, are all watching for successes and then are repeating them.  “The Sheik” was a success, bad as it was, and they copied it admits the star, “and if Beaucaire is a success they will all be wearing powdered wigs. Rex Beach put a revolution into the story of Valentino’s next picture and out it had to come, and now the star says the public can look forward to something different  there in setting, theme, and action. In fact, he says  his own part is to be “very heavy” which is one alibi for the present rest, which began on his arrival Thursday and he has now taken off fishing.  When it comes to pleasing the public with something new Valentino is all for Douglas Fairbanks . There he says, is a man who can make a picture, and he calls Fairbanks instinct and ability as a director even more than his ability as an actor, the explanation of his success and Valentino’s eyes shine as he smiles with anticipation of what the public will think of the “Thief of Bagdad” as a fairytale for adults to enjoy. The question is will Valentino make a movie in Miami? Well, the next picture is of South America. The star says the interiors will be made in New York and he does not think the exteriors will be on the southern continent. Imagination at work on the statement says the exteriors will be artificial or on the islands or the only, real live groves of coconuts and royal palms in the United States will get into the movies again.  Asked if he likes Miami? Mr. Valentino’s response was “oh, very much”.  A bright yellow coat and bell-shaped trousers were the first impression that many received of the celebrity in their midst when he first appeared on the streets in  – well, in Dade County. Yet his eyes do shine. His side whiskers> Well he does not look like his imitators. Maybe the powdered wig caused it, but those famous moments are trimmed quite a peak.  He wears horn-rimmed glasses, Harold Lloyd might envy. No Mrs. Valentino was not with him. When she finishes with cutting the Beaucaire film in New York, maybe.
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