According to Beulah Livingstone, who writes publicity for a company sponsoring the revival of “Son of the Sheik” the name of Rudolph Valentino will remain a magic one as long as romance flourishes on the movie screen. “It was the late Valentino”, declares Miss Livingstone “who set the hears of the nation thumping wildly with his forthright technique of love-making, and his rugged he-man characterizations set another precedent in screen acting. Those who remember and love him for his screen contributions, as well as the newer generation who have never had the opportunity to see the great idol of filmdom, will be happy to learn that his last and greatest picture has been booked for local presentation. We have known Beulah Livingstone since back in the good old silent days, when we were young and innocent and the brain-storms that flowed so profusely from her sturdy typewriter were eagerly accepted and passed on without blue penciling to our readers. But a lot of water has shot over the Chaudière since “Son of the Sheik” was produced and released to a clamoring public, and we confess that Beulah’s effusive if well-turned, phrases anent the current revival of Rudolph Valentino productions from the dimly-passed silent days leaves us as cold as one early morning last winter when the radiator on the old bus froze stiff and we bravely ventured forth to walk the two miles to our office. For the information of those who might be interested, and just to keep the record clear, we might add that the rejuvenated “Son of the Sheik” contains sound effects and a newly arranged musical score. Acting, directing, technical effects, and camera work have come a long way, however, from the days when every other girl of teen-age sent in a quarter for her idol’s photograph and mounted it on the boudoir table.
W. Young Louis was William Randolph Hearst’s projectionist at San Simon. At the age of 84 he runs the Freemont Theater in downtown San Luis Obispo six nights a week. He recalls becoming acquainted with Hearst and was asked to be his personal projectionist for private showings at the castle. After San Simeon was built, I was on call for Hearst. He’d call me at all hours of the night sometimes 2 or 3 a.m. A taxi would pick me up and drive me to San Simeon a good one-hour’s drive away he said. “Sometimes I’d stay a week and my wife would come along. I loved it”. I showed just old movies starring Marion Davies. “We had a basement full of Miss Davies films, and she’d come down and help me choose which ones to show”. Some people would say she was aloof, but she wasn’t. Hearst’s guests included Presidents, writers, singers, actors, actresses, movie producers all famous people of the day. Louis met them all there was: Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, Mae West, Shirley Temple, Clark Gable, Maurice Chevalier, John Barrymore, Will Rogers, Rudolph Valentino, Loretta Young, President Hoover and Calvin Coolidge. “Oh that Rudolph Valentino was a very congenial slender dapper man” Louis said. Autographed pictures, souvenirs of their visits still fill every available space on the walls of the Freemont Theater. One of the stars who visited the castle turned out to be a relative. “I met Anna Mae Wong, a silent screen actress and we talked for a long time. We found out we were related 16th cousins. Louis has stayed put in the Freemont projection room since those days in the early 1940’s. He helped design the place and it fits him to a T. It’s equipped with a small wooden desk and padded vinyl chair so Louis can read and write letters while the reels roll. No, he doesn’t always watch them. “Some of them, I …he started to say and then shrugged”.
Alice Terry, former Silent Film blond beauty became the first woman in Rudolph Valentino’s life Thursday to announce he was no Romeo to her. The ex-actress filed a $750,000 libel suit charing the recent movie “Valentino” pictures her having a clandestine love affair with the slick haired sheik. But she says, when Rudy was her leading man back in the days of the flickers and quivering piano she never gave him a second thought. “Valentino? Why he was a good-looking man and a very nice fellow but that’s all” she shrugged. “I never had any interest in him”. He didnt look like a great lover at all, and it never occured to us that worked with him that he’d be known as that. “No body thought about him in those days as a great lover. In fact, it wasn’t until after he died that he got that reputation”. Miss Terry was the star of Valentino’s first movie, “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” directed by her husband Rex Ingram. Rex Ingram died last year.
Rudolph Valentino has been gone almost 18 years and I am still being asked: What was it like being Rudolph Valentino? Every famous person more or less the victim of his own legend and none more so that Rudolph Valentino who came to be called “The Sheik” and Rudy hated that tag, especially after it became a byword for what is known as wolfing today. Valentino’s outstanding characteristic when away from the camera was shyness. He hated dancing for that reason. His career with Bonnie Glass and later Joan Sawyer, doing ballroom dances, brought him too close to his audience. He was an eternal boy but understood his capabilities. He knew he registered best in romantic roles. He was a failure when he departed from them, although he was persuaded to do so more than once. Valentino was practically a chain smoker. He drank red wines, loved good food, ate voraciously, cooked well and liked to cook. He appeared almost ordinary in golf or business clothes; was superb in anything approximating a costume such as riding clothes, fencing apparel, or lounging robes. Kept a large library of books with costume plates which he studied religiously. Remainder of his library was distinguished with rare volumes mostly in foreign languages which he understood. He hated sets of books and never bought them. Al Jolson was instrumental in bringing Valentino to Los Angeles. Norman Kerry who was a life-long friend, helped him over tough days. Rudy was hopelessly extravagant and died broke. He bought a Mercer with his first permanent salary of $125 a week spent most of it on repairs. Later cars were Voisins and Isotta Frashchini’s. He loved machinery and had a workshop in his garage. Once took his car apart and put it together again. Was a typical small boy in this respect. His most enduring business friendship was with Joseph Schenck of Fox Studios for whom he made “Son of the Sheik” and “The Eagle” two of his greatest successes. Valentino attributed much of this to his ability and judgement. Valentino danced in Gauman prologue’s before he made good in his movies. Mae Murray gave him his first chance and they were always good friends. He was deeply interested in supernatural things during his marriage to Natacha Rambova – chiefly automatic writing. Had no small superstitions. He never permitted anyone, even his wife to see him disheveled. He had no shabby, comfortable old clothes. Spent a fortune on his wardrobe which was always new. Kept himself in superb physical condition result of two disappointments. As a boy he was turned down by the Royal Naval Academy because he lacked one inch in chest expansion. Air Force turned him down in World War I because of defective vision. Physical routine included sparring with Gene Delmont and Jack Dempsey, who was a good friend. Loved horses a white Arabian Stallion Ramadan, was his favorite. A Harlequin Great Dane, Doberman Pincher, and a Celtic Wolfhound, were all with him constantly as was a black cocker spaniel given to him by the Mayor of San Francisco at the time. He was sincere about his trade as an actor. But he had problems trying to find what he felt was his greatest goal his own family.
Feeling and not acting is what lifts a love scene from commonplace to the realms of realism and romance. Rudolph Valentino 1923
In this morning’s mail arrived a letter and an enclosure which leaves me gasping. The note to me reads “I couldn’t find Mr. Rudolph Valentino’s address, so I am writing him in your care. Will you kindly forward it to Mr. Valentino. Thank you.” The enclosure reads “Dear Mr. Valentino, Congratulations! I saw your performance in The Son of the Sheik and thought you were grand. This is the first picture I ever saw in my life, and I hope to see every picture you make from now on. Keep up the good work!” I am still trying to decide whether there actually is someone ignorant of Valentino’s death or whether I am being ribbed.
An attachment against the property of Rodolph Valentino was ordered last week in the Supreme Court in a suit brought by his former attorney, Arthur B. Graham, for a balance of $48,295 alleged to be due for services and disbursements. The attachment was granted on the ground that Valentino is a resident of Hollywood. In his affidavit, Mr. Graham alleges that he conducted all of the actors litigation with the Famous-Players Lasky Corporation, excepting the writing of the brief on the appeal to the Appellate Division; that he represented Valentino in supplementary proceedings brought by his creditors; went to other cities, talked to newspaper men and thus prevented adverse criticism. Mr. Graham values his services at $ 65,000 and says that he has received but $ 20,000. A copy of the attachment was delivered to the uptown branch of the National City Bank where Valentino is said to have a good sized deposit, a copy was also served on The Mineralava Company, which is said to be interested in Valentinos present dancing tour. Other law suits in which Valentino is involved includes an action started last week by he and his wife, Winfred Hudnut through their attorney, Max Stauer, who applied for an attachment against Scotts Preparations, Inc., claiming $ 7,000 for the termination of a series of beauty contests and dancing exhibitions in which they and one of the Scott products were featured. This tour terminated in Chicago two weeks ago , after the president of the company, asked the director of the tour about reports of a $ 2,500 guarantee for each nightly dancing exhibition given by the Valentinos. They were engaged for seven weeks, they explained, in asking for the attachment, at a salary of $ 6,000 a week and $ 7,000 at the end of the tour. The $ 7,000 is the reason for the application for the attachment. The Valentinos had hardly applied for this attachment when Arthur Butler Graham, of 25 West Forty-fifth street, had served a writ of attachment on Pokres for one weeks salary of the Valentinos. Mr. Graham, who represented Mr Valentino last year in the litigation with Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, I started an action to recover $ 40, 000 from Valentino, which he claims for expenses in that case
The spirit of Rudolph Valentino returned to earth a few days ago during a séance in a New York office building and announced to a gaping audience that he died not die a natural death, the United Press has been informed. Valentino said, however, that he wasn’t going to tell on anybody that he didn’t want to cause any suffering. The séance was arranged by Major R.T.M. Scott, Chairman of the American Society of Psychical Research. George Wehner described by Major Scott as a reliable medium served as the personal medium for Ruth Roland, former film star and friend of Valentino was one of the guests. Major Scott took an attractive stenographer with him to the séance although he admits she caused him considerable worry. He was afraid the girl would become nervous upon hearing the dead actor’s voice. But it turned out that she wasn’t afraid at all. Twelve questions were put to Valentino and he answered all of them. He was asked “How did you die” “Was there any justification in the rumors of shooting or poisoning”? The spirit of Valentino answered “That is very difficult for me to answer while speaking through the medium, “because it involves many people. I will say that I did not die a natural death. I am not going to divulge any names, I have no desire for revenge, contrary to the opinion of most people have about Italians. I do not wish to have any suffering come to them more than will come to them through natural causes. We cannot do wrong without suffering the consequences. I think I would relieve them if I could”. He was asked if he saw Lon Chaney around anywhere and if any other from people were with him. The spirit answered “he is hobnobbing with Barbara LaMarr and Olive Thomas, I have seen Milton Sills, I have seen my dear June Mathis and her mother Jennie. Valentino said, according to Major Scott that he goes back to Falcon Lair in Hollywood occasionally but not to “haunt it”. He returns to walk around the place and live again the old days in memory. He asked for his opinion for film stars. He answered he does not think anyone has reached Charlie Chaplin’s place in comedy, Gloria Swanson is a great artist and Greta Garbo’s voice is wonderful for expressing emotion. The spirit remarked that if he were alive today, he would go into the talkies. “I had a good voice”, he said or “so people said” Valentino, according to Major Scott said that he is not settled in this present sphere, but he doesn’t know whether he is going to be moved around or not. He believes, however, he will eventually progress to “higher planes”.