Author Archives: 1920rudy

About 1920rudy

The world of silent films is a fascinating place to explore. There is one actor who stands out the most and that is Rudolph Valentino. The words in this blog are copyrighted by law.


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16 Nov 1925 -The Eagle Movie Review

In the guise of a dandy Cossack Lieutenant, who becomes an artful, gallant and very  lucky bandit, Rudolph Valentino’s shadow yesterday afternoon at the Mark Strand renewed its acquaintance with admiring throngs in a production entitled “The Eagle,” which is based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel “Dubrovsky.” Following the first presentation of the film Mr. Valentino himself took the stage and thanked the audience for its reception of the picture, adding that he felt sure that by it he would regain that popularity he enjoyed a few years ago. While he admitted that his preceding photoplay, “The Sainted Devil,” was a poor picture, he refrained from referring to the picturization of Martin Brown’s play “Cobra,” which he finished before starting work on the present offering, and which has not yet been released. The Mark Strand was packed, the police were kept busy at the theatre entrance holding back the crowd, and an enthusiastic collection of people after the first show pressed around the stage entrance, watching eagerly for the screen star’s appearance on the street. Through the introduction of Catherine of Russia, or a modern conception of that lady, the initial chapters of “The Eagle” are reminiscent of the picturization of “The Czarina,” which in film form was heralded as “Forbidden Paradise.” Although these sequences in the Valentino photoplay are undeniably entertaining, they by no means reach the artistic heights achieved by Ernst Lubitsch and Pola Negri in “Forbidden Paradise.” Mr. Valentino is indeed fortunate in having obtained the services of Vilma Banky from Samuel Goldwyn, for Miss Banky is so lovely to look upon that her beauty makes the hero’s gallantry all the more convincing. In this production, which might suit several male screen celebrities, including the agile Douglas Fairbanks. Mr. Valentino acquits himself with distinction. He appears, to have benefited by Clarence Brown’s direction and to have appreciated that Miss Banky was a valuable asset to his picture. It was an excellent idea also to have Hans Kraely, Mr. Lubitsch’s clever scenarist, handle the script for “The Eagle.” Mr. Valentino first is seen in the graceful costume of a Cossack officer, his astrachan headgear often placed at a most acute angle. Subsequently he rides to romantic fame as the Black Eagle, a bandit, whose chief exploits are bowing to the fair. His lieutenants kidnap Mascha Troekouroff, impersonated by Miss Banky, only to be told by their irate chief that he does not war with women. It happens that Mascha’s cowardly father is kept on tenterhooks by the Black Eagle, who binds and gags a French tutor being sent to the Troekouroff Castle to instruct Mascha, and then impersonates the tutor, coolly reporting to the girl’s parents, who had incidentally offered 5,000 rubies reward for the Black Eagle, dead or alive. One has the satisfaction of seeing the Black Eagle massaging old Kyrilla Troekouroff with amazing energy, and then seeing the hero turn his attention to Mascha in caressing fashion. Kyrilla receives notes from the Black Eagle under his plate, and his mind is always uneasy. He is a cruel old fool; who has a chained bear in his wine cellar, and he looks upon it as a pretty jest when he sends a victim down to get a bottle of the best wine. This happens to the Black Eagle, who kills the “jest” with a bullet. Before he took up the calling of bandit, the then respectable Lieutenant Vladimir Dubrovsky had been told in private audience by the Czarina: “You are the first Russian to see his Czarina weep.” Dubrovsky had been commanded to appear in the royal presence at 6 o’clock, and it is explained that 6 o’clock meant supper and not Siberia. The young lieutenant, always so courageous, had abandoned the Czarina when she was about to mount her favorite horse, because he observed two frightened horses dashing away with a vehicle in which sat an aunt, a Pekinese and the glorious Mascha. This is a satisfying picture in which Mr. Brown introduces some interesting touches. It is well equipped with scenery and the costumes of the players are capably designed. Mascha, at a banquet, adorns herself with a wealth of pearls, and the Czarina, played by Louise Dresser, arrays herself as Commander-in-Chief of the military forces.
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1924 – Superstitious Movie Folk

Agnes Ayres does not like to have anybody sing in her dressing room.  But her chief faith in luck is bound up in a wonderful Columbia Clock which has been in her family for years.  It is a marvelous mechanism, being made entirely of wood and although of a great age is still running.  Miss Ayres firmly believes that her success depends upon the possession of this clock, and so carefully, does she guard the treasure she will not even allow it to be photographed.  Her movie colleague, Rudolph Valentino has declared to friends he has no superstitions.  But one might wonder why he waited until 14 March to be married to the delightful Natacha Rambova when he could of done so on the 13th as well.  Perhaps the fascinating Mrs. Valentino objects to the fatal number.  Who knows might be because his first wedding ceremony took place on 13 May. Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. has no faith in crystals or superstitions. Gloria Swanson loves black cats and so tender was her care of the original two pets of the Lasky Studio they sent for all their friends, in-laws, and descendants until 327 cats now live on the lot.  This is lucky for the butcher and the cats.  Theodore Kostloff treasures a pre-war ten rouble gold piece, now worth $2 million in paper money.  Bebe Daniels grandmother has a wonderful collection of dolls and few people know this is a direct result of Bebes belief that good luck follows the purchase of a new doll.  Lila Lee is very superstitious about the beginning day of a new film.  If she leaves her home in the morning, forgetting something important, she will not turn back herself, but send a messenger after she reaches the studio.

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31 Aug 1930 – Two Valentino’s

 When I first met Valentino I was amazed to find not the romantic hero, but just a boy, quite frank and sincere. Why, he is only a child! At first, I was disillusioned, but in another way I liked him the more.  There were two distinct Valentino’s – Rudy the artistand Rudy the man.  The one was swashbuckling cavalier who flashed across the screen into the hearts of millions. The other was a simple boy with a childish sensitiveness often mistaken for weakness by the un-discerning and the prejudiced. American men, particularly had no use for him. They looked down on him, criticized him, which hurt him for he was anxious to be liked; he wanted friendship and respect. Had they taken pains to know him, they would have given him both; but he couldn’t talk business, politics, or the stock exchange. He had no mentality for such things. They lay beyond his grasp because he had utterly no interest in them.
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Nov 1925 – Monsieur Beaucaire Rudolph Valentino Coming

Full of color and romance is “Monsieur Beaucaire” which will be screened at Wests on Saturday, with Rudolph Valentino and Bebe Daniels in the leading roles. It is an elaborate screen version of the popular play, which has been adhered to with remarkable fidelity. There is plenty of suspense in the picture, and an exciting combat between Valentino and six opponents. The Court of Louis, XV, forms a brilliant background for the action, and abounds in colorful scenes, depicting the mad, merry life in that famous court. Ordered to marry the Princess Bourboun-Conti, the Duc de Chartres, played by the star reuses. His efforts to resist the Kings guards provide some of the most thrilling moments that have graced the screen. Hugh sets were constructed for the picture, and the costuming and mounting throughout are on a lavish scale.

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21 Nov 1924 – Valentino In Dramatic Role

Dayton patrons of the Colonial Theater ought to feel very proud to know they have been the first in the middle west to see ‘Rudolph Valentino’ newest photoplay, “A Sainted Devil”. Even New York City has not had a chance to see this photoplay, which, by the way, is one of the most interesting this idol of the screen has yet made.  This is a South American picture of contrasts the hacienda life of the Argentine contrasted with the smart social set of Buenos Aires, the Paris of the South Americas. This picture has fire and dash with the added charm of Valentino.
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31Oct 1939 – Marian Adored Valentino

“My girl Marian was nuts about Rudolph Valentino, judge” and as simple an
explanation, as that got Benjamin Platt, 29, slim and bespectacled, out of jail and
 earned him the promise of a wedding present.  Of course, Marian remained in a hospital under treatment for painful burns but otherwise, Benjamins explanation seemed to liquidate a jam which Marians admiration for the late film star got him into.  It began one night, when Benjamin and Marian went to a movie and saw portions of Valentino in a news reel.  Marian has a collection of souvenirs of Valentino.  “Benjamin” Marian sighed “I’d dearly love to own that film”. Thus spurred Benjamin into action. He pried his way into the theatre projection booth and confiscated the film.  He sped to his love, who awaited him in the basement of his home. There they trimmed the Valentino sequence and hurled the remainder of the coiling into the furnace. Flames leaped from the furnace door. The precious strip of film which portrayed the star of “The Sheik” went up in flames and Marian fell screaming. Marian was taken to the hospital and Benjamin was taken to jail. He earnestly told his story to Judge Gibson Gorman, in felony court.  When he finished the judge smiled and placed him on probation.  Up stepped the complainant, Thomas Murray, theater manager.  “For your wedding present, I will give you a copy of the Rudolph Valentino film. I hope it will bring you happiness.
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1922 – What the Fans Say


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25 Nov 1922 – Film Face Worth $26,000 a year

O.A. Atkinson, the London “Dully Express” cinema correspondent, writes: Variety of occupation in this spice of existence. there is a certain parallel between the career of the average screen actor and the Odyssses of the restless souls who in the great days of the militia desperately clutched the Queen’s shilling and “listed for a soldier”. It is given to few of us to follow in-turn such diverse professions an landscape gardener, waiter. tango dancer and film actor, hut this has been the destiny of Mr. Rudolph Valentino, the dashing young man who swanks his way to glory In “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” It is not easy to understand just how and why Rudolph acquired his considerable reputation as a screen lady-killer. He is a keen-looking young fellow who uses best-quality hair oil
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7 Feb 1948 – Souvenir

Manhattan restauranteur Sam Slavin still holds an IOU from Rudolph Valentino for $10.00. He lent Rudy money when the great silent film star worked in Slavin’s place for $12.00 a week. Valentino many times tried to buy it back, but Slavin always refused to sell. And its still there, framed, on the wall of the restaurant.

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1926 – RV Death Triggers Suicides

In 1926, Rudolph Valentino’s death triggered a string of women committing
suicides. The first one was Agatha Hearn, NY who could not stand the thought
that the Sheik was gone forever. Waiting outside Campbell’s funeral parlor
in NY was enough catharsis to many mourners, but Mrs. Hearn believed her
grief was too great for that; so she shot herself. When her body was found,
a sheaf of Valentino photographs was clutched in her hand.  The second one
was “A Bronx housewife attempted suicide of ‘my love for him’ but failed.
The third one “In London, Peggy Scott, 26 year old dancer, made away with
herself and left behind a note:
It is heart breaking to live in the past when the future is hopeless please
look after Rudolph’s pictures. The fourth one “In Japan, two girls clasped
hands and leapt into a fiery volcano”. The fifth “In Rome, where the death
was regarded by some as a greater calamity than Caruso. Mussolini exhorted
women to become mothers not suicides. “What can best be described as grief
riots were staged by women in many parts of the world.
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24 Oct 1926 – Rudolph Valentino Protects his name

Peggy Scotts Suicide – When a verdict of “suicide while of a sound mine” was returned at the inquest on Peggy Scott, some women on behalf of friends of Rudolph Valentino pointed out to the court that is was impossible for Scott to have known Valentino who was not in Europe at the time. They alleged that it was only fair that this should be pointed out, because Valentino’s character was impugned. Some people thought nothing of discrediting film actors. The Coroner agreed.
A message of Oct 5 was as follows: A pathetic letter addressed to a girl friend by Peggy Scott, known as “the valentino girl” was read at the inquest on the latter. It read “I cannot continue anymore. It has been inevitable for a long time that I should finish things. Simply existing is heart-breaking, and living in the past, when one’s future is hopeless, has broken my heart. I am only a butter made for sunshine and happiness, and can’t stand the loneliness and shabbiness. With no one to care for me, and no babies to love, life is awful. Please preserve Rudolph’s pictures. He has helped me over lots of stiles. not only in 1922. Rudolph helped me to carry on, and I had some wonderful moments but when he died the last elastic snapped.”
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