Posts Tagged With: Rudolph Valentino

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29 Sep 2021 – National Silent Movie Day Blogathon – Rudy’s Influence on the Silent’s

Today is National Silent Movie Day and to celebrate this wonderful global event, I am contributing the following article “Rudy’s Influence on the Silent’s” to the National Silent Movie Day Blogathon.  I would like to thank both “Silentology Blog” and “In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood Blog” for hosting this event. 

In 1913, Rudolph Valentino’s arrival to this country with not much money from his transatlantic crossing and unable to speak English he did doing what he could to survive.  Oftentimes, he faced homelessness, went hungry or swallowing his pride by taking lowly paying jobs. By doing so, he made just enough money to help with everyday expenses such as food, a roof over his head, or being able to take a shower.  As job opportunities came and went it seemed at certain times life would knock him down.  However, life always takes you places for a reason and it’s important to note, he learned a valuable lesson from each experience he faced.  As time moves on he finds that living in New York was not working out.  So, his friend Norm Kerry suggested a bright future awaits both of them in California and they made their way across the country to Los Angeles and an unknown future. Living in a new city, a determined Rudolph Valentino went on casting calls to all the major movie studios to no avail and found there were no immediate job opportunities in the motion picture industry for a virtual unknown.  Eventually he found work as a movie extra and his enthusiasm was garnering him notice. In 1919, after making the movie “Eyes of Youth”, with Clara Kimball Young, it is written in Hollywood history that June Mathis, Metro Studio Executive noticed the talented actor and wanted him a virtual Hollywood unknown for the starring role in “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”.  Although it took some time for her to to persuade studio bosses that he was box office gold and in the end motion picture history was made.  From the first moment he appeared on the silver screen it was an immediate love affair with a movie going public.  His smoldering good looks and romantic visage a global audience was forever ensnared and life as he knew it changed.  What endeared him to a movie going public was his rags to riches story.  He achieved the American dream as a hopeful immigrant in this melting pot country and his success gave every other immigrant hope for their own success story.  The public was mesmerized by him and immediately wanted to know his life story.  Every movie in which Rudolph Valentino appeared he was a dedicated professional.  While his roles called for dramatic scenes often requiring physically dangerous stunts, he performed many on his own.  There were times, he had contractual disagreements with several movie studios, However, everything always worked out for him in the end. 

In the 1920’s and beyond, Valentino had enormous influence both in the fashion world and on film.  His personal style was ahead of its time and always immaculately turned out.  He had extravagant taste in clothing and wore nothing, but the best labels of the day and his style was always duplicated.  Professional men wanted to know his style choices and what grooming products he bought.  In a NY Times article, Valentino briefly grew a beard for a film and the degree of public outcry was overwhelming. Fans wrote asking him to shave, and the Master Barber’s Association threatened to boycott his films for the damage he was doing to their business. 

Valentino was a consummate professional and one of the first actors in Hollywood who fought for creative content control over any movie he would appear in and better pay this battle resulted in a well-publicized feud launched against his employer Famous Players-Laskey Studio. In 1923, during a well fought court battle he struck a new deal that gave him exactly what he wanted.  But his next films were not a financial success, and the blame was placed on his second wife Natacha Rambova.  The newly formed United Artists Studios brought Rudolph Valentino on board and in the contractual agreement it was noted they did not want her on set and kept out of sight.  In 23 Aug 1926, Rudolph Valentino died in New York City while promoting his final film “Son of the Sheik”.  His influence on the silent’s is well noted and documented by Hollywood Movie Historians for the ages. His memory lives on through social media, books, films and the annual memorial service at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. In a 21st century global community, Valentino’s work has garnered a new generation of fans that appreciate him and in the end, Silent Film Star Rudolph Valentino was one of the most profound actors of the era. His influence on the Silents will forever be known.

 

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1924 – Letter to Editor

Dear Editor,

Isn’t there something you can personally do to rid us of the Valentino imitators? They are becoming awful here to say the least. In the first place the very fact they are willing to be groomed to take his place proves them incompetent; if they have any ingenuity at all they would create a vogue of their own and not try to shine by his reflected glory. they remind us of what Fabre refers to in his “bugology” as procressaries because of their habit of following one another. No single one of his imitatiors has sufficient initiative to branch out and create a demand for himself.  To begin with, few are so capable as Rudolph Valentino and from general observation and consensus I should say that he can handle more work turn out better work and earn larger dividends on the capital invested then any other star in his profession. Therefore, it would seem that he is worth conceding a few favors to. Don’t lets lose the greatest artist we have on the screen today just because of a broken contract with Lasky Studios. Some laws are stupid and mean’t to be broken. Why not break this one for the good of the public or at least for the amusement of the public? Famous Players-Lasky corporation is incapable of treating him fairly, why don’t they release him and let some other movie film company sign him up? Anything so that we may have our brilliant and lovable Julio and our handsome and gallant Gallardo back again. Hoping you will interest yourself in our behalf.

Very Truly,

August Temple, Bay City, MI

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29 Sep 2021 – Silent Movie Day Blogathon

On 29 Sep 2021, has been named as National Silent Movie Day and for those who truly love this genre of film will be a treat. I will be participating in the blogathon so stay tuned. There are allot of exciting events that will allow us all to enjoy so when you get a chance go to this website: National Silent Movie Day

Enjoy..

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15 Sep 1924 – NY Gossip

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31 Aug 1924 – Valentino Return to Screen Romance

Fascinating Film Lover — New Picture Has Three Distinct Love Sequences. When it was finally decided that Rodolph Valentino was to return to Paramount after a lone and universally regretted absence from the motion picture screen, it was with the utmost care that the executives of the company set themselves to the task of choosing a vehicle which would be in keeping with the importance of the event. Recalling the great Valentino successes, it seemed desirable that the picture should com bine, if possible, the love interest of The Sheik, the romantic coloring of Blood and Sand, and the spectacle of The Four Horseman. So Monsieur Beaucaire, Booth Tarkington’s story, with its romantic, colorful, and spectacular back ground of the Court of King Louis XV. of France, was chosen. Monsieur. Beaucaire is unquestionably one of the greatest romances ever written. Most of the action takes place at the Court of King Louis XV. of France, and in Bath, England, the
favorite resort of the English nobility at that time. The characters portrayed are almost all real ones, who had a hand in the making of history, such as Mms. Pompadour, the Due de Richelieu, Lord Chesterfield, Beau Nash and others. Briefly told, the story Is of the young and attractive Due de Chartres, Who, refusing to marry al most on sight the charming Princess de Bourbon-Conti, at the Royal command, incurs the disfavor of the King and Mme. Pompadour, the power behind the throne, and is forced to flee from the country. Reaching England he masquerades as a barber under the name of Monsieur Beaucaire, Falling in with an English nobleman of French descent, who knows neither who Beaucaire is, nor why he is in England,he gains access to the English Court, and meets and captivates the fascinating Lady Mary Carlisle, only to have her turn against him when she finds he is an impostor. A message from the French King, bidding him to return to France arid, be
forgiven, takes him back to the Princess whom he really loves. Thus Valentino is provided with an opportunity for three separate and distinct love sequences, and in them Rodolph is said to prove that he has not lost any of the ability to make love which has made him one of the most fascinating and compelling screen stars of to-day. ‘High powered’ is the term applied to these love scenes by the studio officials during the making of the picture.
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28 Aug 1922 – Moran of the Lady Letty

It will be with great delight that the picture patrons will welcome the return of Rudolph Valentino. There no doubt he scored a wonderful tiiiocese in “The Sheik, and the triumph of that picture was merely illustrative of the personality of the star Valcntino is the featured player in “Moran of Lady Letty,” which commences at The Wondergraph today. The dramatic of this picture are intense, the acting of Dorothy Dalton is well worthy of commendation. One is the stanch windjammer overcome by the dread sea-fire, the looting of the doomed vessel, and the rescue of the unconscious girl by the shanghaied second mate. Exciting episodes are the battle between the crew of tile Lady Leity and the Mexican brigands, the subdoling of the untamed nature of Moran. The tremendous fight between the dandy and the villainous captain a fight in which the vtuecr of oivilUatiou id stripped I awayt a battle of brute furoe raging beyond the rocks and finally on the main in the high seas ending only with the ships captain dying.
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27 Aug 1926- Valentino Dead America in Mourning

Rudolph Valentino died on Monday. Not since the death of the three American Presidents Roosevelt, Wilson and Harding has there been in the present generation such country-wide public manifestations of grief over the demise of any person as that of Valentino. Newspapers through out the nation in headlines, in many cases six inches high state “United States Mourns Valentino”. Many journals devote half their contents to pictures of the cinema star from baby-hood to man-hood and long accounts of his life career even stressing that he was not and American and his residence in this country was brief, having arrived penniless and for many years earned his living at the most menial tasks.  He was unquestionably the most popular state figure in America. One writer declares Valentino was more popular the world over than any King who ever lived.  Hundreds of thousands of people literally blocked the street around the hospital for 24 hours before his death. An appeal was broadcast over the radio for helpful thought when his condition became serious. Thousands of messages a day poured in from people, while floral contributions filed the corridors of the hospital. His death cast a gloom on the bright lights of Broadway the famous NY theatre district.
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1921 & 1926 – Rev Joseph M. Congedo

Father Congedo, pastor of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, 315 East Thirty-third Street, Manhattan, New York would soon be called to another famous Italian’s sick bed and would forever be known not for his good works and deeds but associated with this second visit.

The first visit occurred on 16 Feb 1921, Father Congedo and Father Molinelli were called to administer the last rights at the 18th floor apartment, Hotel Vanderbilt of famous tenor Enrico Caruso a friend of Rudolph Valentino reported to be in serious condition due to a recent heart attack.   Upon their arrival Caruso asked both priests “what are you here for”?  Not wanting to alarm him they said they were in the area inquiring after a friend’s health and heard he was still ill thought they would stop by to hope he would pull through.  During time spent with the famous patient who suggested final rites be performed.

The second visit occurred on 23 Aug 1926, Father Congedo was called to the bedside of fellow Italian Silent Film Star Rudolph Valentino to listen to his final confession and administer last rites of the Catholic Church.  During time spent at his bedside, Father Congedo concerned for the patient’s mortal soul, knew time was of the essence and quickly set up a small altar containing holy oil, a relic of St. Therese, candles in his hospital room.  After Father Congedo spent time with Valentino he left the hospital via the main entrance where he was met by a large crowd of newspaper reporters eager for small details of his visit.  The father talked about giving him comfort and speaking to him in Italian and providing religious comfort to someone a fellow catholic.  During the first funeral service for Valentino at St. Malachi Church Father Congedo attended.

The Reverend was considered a saint within the Italian American community.   He came to New York direct from the Pontifical Vatican Seminary, Rome, Italy. In 1905, he was ordinated and furthered his religious education at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers where he received his Doctorate Degree.  In 1911, he embraced his new country by becoming an American citizen.  In 1915, he was accredited by the Catholic regents and had Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, a two-story brick church built at an enormous cost of $35,000. Father Congedo helped establish Immaculata High School the only Italian High School at the time.  Active in the Italy America Society he never forgot his roots and did what he could to help his fellow countrymen.  Father Congedo pastored the church until his death in 1954.  In Jan 2007, Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church closed its doors for good and was demolished due to money and lack of attendance.  Church papers and items were sent to the Archbishop of New York.

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Aug 1922 – How Do You Pronounce Sheik?

“We wish, Goddess of Knowledge, you would prove you’re not a fake and settle all the arguments about this Sheik. Now Rudolph Valentino insists it should be “shake”. While dear old Noah Webster, before whose authority we quake, says that either is correct, but gives the preference to “sheek” thus the argument goes on and to settle it we seek. We’ll make a wager here and now that the girls will not criticise, or care just how this words pronounced with one look at Rudolph’s eyes!”

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4 Aug 1940 – Still Remembered

Recently fans of the late great screen-lover Rudolph Valentino crowded into St. Malachy Church, New York for the annual memorial service. The British Valentino Association was represented. Valentino would have been 45 years old today had he lived
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23 Aug 2021 – Mourning Valentino on Eventbrite

Join me 23 Aug 2021 on Eventbrite for a free virtual discussion on “Mourning Valentino”.

On this day, it was 95 years ago, Rudolph Valentino died.  The world mourned a young talented man gone too soon.  His fans have never forgotten him.  Let’s delve into why he meant so much to people then and now.

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During his lifetime, Rudolph Valentino was an avid camera buff and loved taking pictures whenever he could. He imagined a future behind the camera versus in front of it.  Eastman Kodak was considered top of the line and Valentino owned some of their products.

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7 Jun 1922 – Rudolph Valetino Released

Rudolph Valentino, the motion picture actor, who was charged with having committed bigamy, by marrying Winifred Hudnut, the daughter of a rich American perfumer, before his final divorce decree was granted from Jean Acker, another picture artist, who was his first wife, have been set free. The evidence was found to be insufficient.
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6 Jun 1922 – Girl Drops Her Knitting in Excitement Over Valentino

Rudolph Valentino “lover of the. screen,’’ shortly after 10 o’clock today pushed his way through crowds of women into the court of Justice J. Walter Hanby for his preliminary hearing on a charge of bigamy. Long before the handsome young Italian, actor, his dark eyes glowing his black hair slicked tightly to his head made his appearance, the courtroom was crowded chattering throng, largely composed of women from young high school girls to elderly matrons.  Valentino, dressed in immaculate black, with a few vigorous strides as though crossing the camera’s lens, entered the courtroom and slipped *into a chair. He appeared excited and ill at ease, looking at no one, and saying nothing as he did at his arraignment. He sat without smiling, chewing one finger of his right hand as he waited, attorneys, and film friends grouped about him, for the call of the bailiff. The courtroom hushed as Valentino entered and one girl dropped her knitting. Several consulted motion picture magazines, comparing the screen star with his pictures. Without moving from his place Valentino allowed several pictures to l) e taken by newspaper photographers. Deputy District Attorney J. D. Costello briefly outlined the case and called the first witness, Jean Acker, first wife of the defendant, to the stand. Valentino did not look at her, a vision in creamy silk, but the expression of his eyes seemed to say that his thoughts were a continent away with Winifred Hudnut, his exiled bride who has sought refuge with her stepfather, Richard Hudnut, in New York. Costello at once began the examination, and Miss Acker, answering in soft tones, told him she had been married to Valentino June 5, 1919, how they quarreled and separated, became reconcile 1 and quarreled again, and how she? sued for divorce. Papers to show an interlocutory decree of divorce had been granted March 4, 1922, were introduced. Spectators leaned forward to see when photographed copies of the marriage license of “Valentino and Winifred De Wolfe” was introduced as the first premise in the state’s effort to prove its bigamy charge. The record showed that the wedding was performed in Mexicali, Mex., May 13, 1922, by Civil Judge Tolentini Sandoval. At this point, the justice abruptly called the morning recess and the crowd surged round Valentino as he rose and shook hands with Miss Acker, conversing with animation for the first time.

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