Posts Tagged With: Rudolph Valentino

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Dec 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. THE EAGLE, with Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Banky, Louise Dresser, Albert Conti, James Marcus, George Nichols and Carrie Clark Ward, adapted from the novel, “Dubrovsky,” by Alexander Pushkin; directed by Clarence Brown; overture, Tschaikowsky’s “1812”;

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1925 – Shriner Welcome, Los Angeles

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1925 -William S. Hart Receipe

Rudolph Valentino had many friends in the movie industry and one of them he admired about most was William S. Hart.  Both men had much in common including a love for good food.  Here is a receipe you might want to try:

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1925 – Photoplay Movie Review Cobra

The original theme of Martin Brown’s Play, “Cobra,” having been written for a woman star, obviously puzzled the picture-makers in their efforts to twist it into a virile vehicle for Rudolph Valentino. Therefore, this main idea receives but scant attention in the screen version, the narrative of which, as it is unfurled, is moderately entertaining until the director and his henchmen decide to include a fang or two of the poisonous reptiles. It then becomes quite absurd and the accompanying captions assist in the general decline. Nita Naldi is supposed to officiate in the title rôle, but she is not called upon to appear until the story is well on its way. It is soon after her entrance that the real theme is attacked, the adapter having endeavored to shift the importance of the character from Elsie Van Zlla to Count Rodrigo Torriani, which results in the distressing consequences. Torriani, played by Mr. Valentino, is painted as a happy-go-lucky nobleman who finds any pair of feminine eyes enchanting. One might infer that he is sowing wild oats with a vengeance, as he is constantly discovering himself to be infatuated with some new fascinating creature. He has only to shake their hands, look into their eyes, and the wicked work is started. One of these charming young women happens to be Mary Drake, a stenographer, who is declared to be sweet and innocent, and is an inspiration to the Count to cause him to mend his ways. This good girl is an artist with paint and powder. Her lips are like cherries and her eyes are liberally outlined with mascara. Yet she is declared to be so serious in her attentions that one would expect her to shy at the sight of a lipstick. The Count falls in love with this Mary, but he cannot resist Elsie’s black eyes, even though she is wedded to his fast friend, Jack Dorning; and this brings about trouble. Elsie is burned to death in a hotel fire and Doming eventually learns of the Count’s conduct. So as to ingratiate the Count in the eyes of the spectators, the scenarist has him make a sacrifice. He insists to Mary that he is just as bad as ever, and the consequence is that she marries Doming. So, in this little tale Dorning has two wives, but the Count remains a bachelor. Mr. Valentine takes advantage of the opportunity to wear a variety of clothes. In one sequence he is seen as the Count’s seventeenth century ancestor. After that he wears golf clothes, lounge suits, white flannel trousers with a blue coat, white shoes with a blue suit, and when he dines alone, he is so punctilious that he appears in full evening dress. In one sub-title the Count is alluded to as an “indoor sheik,” and the fight that follows gives Valentino credit for a Firpo blow, while his opponent must have a cast-iron jaw. Casson Ferguson, who officiated as the villain in the film version of “Grumpy.” and recently was seen in a similar part in “The Road to Yesterday.” in this current feature fills the sympathetic role of Doming in a somewhat stereotyped fashion. Miss Naldi, whose eyes match Sir. Valentine’s makes the best of a bad bargain. Mr. Valentine’s acting is acceptable, but he is not indifferent to his much-exploited looks.

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16 Dec 1925 – The Hero Remains a Bachelor

COBRA, with Rudolph Valentino, Nita Naldi, Casson Ferguson, Gertrude Olmstead, Claire de Orez, Eileen Percy, Lillian Langdon, Henry Barrows and Rosa Rosanova, adapted from Martin Brown’s play, directed by Joseph Henabery; divertissements, with singing and dancing; “M. W. Balfe,” one of the “Music Master” series; Kharum, Persian pianist. At the Rivoli. Edmund Goulding, who has contributed some sterling adaptations to the screen, including that of “Tol’able David.” falls far short of his usual standard in the picturization of the musical comedy, “Sally, Irene and Mary,” which he directed as well as adapted. This subject emerges from Hollywood as a species of “melodrama packed with trite ideas and appallingly obvious situations. It is a tawdry preachment concerned with the night life of gold-digging chorus giris, at the close of which the old-fashioned moral holds good. The captions allude to the “wolves of Broadway.” and the libertine of this picture, Marcus Morton, is designated the “leader of the pack.” Judging from that which is thrown on the screen, Mr. Morton thinks of nothing else except stage beauties, and one opines that he looks in exceedingly good health considering the hours he keeps. Mr. Goulding reminds the spectators that a girl has been out all night, and he shows that she is still so full of life that she enthuses to her friends about the beautiful weather—the sun is pouring its rays through the window curtains. Mary, impersonated by Sally O’Neill, learns so much about the night life that she decides to refuse wealth and return to her Jimmy Dugan, a rather awkward young man who wears the same shirt day after day.
Irene, who is loved by a millionaire, is killed in an automobile wreck, which tragedy brings home to the girls the error of their ways, or at least, the fact that they are playing with fire. There is quite an imposing sequence picturing a scene on the stage with the audience in the theatre. It is perhaps the best thing in this effort, and even this is spoiled at the end by a visitation of Irene’s ghost. No picture of this calibre would be quite complete without a moon. Here, through the clouds one perceives a new moon, which is followed by the frolicsome Mary and silk-shirted Jimmy embracing each other. As contrasts there are Erte decorations and tenement house scenes. For suspense there is the telegraph operator writing a message as it comes over the wire, with long pauses between words. The senences, in the vernacular, are made to suit the occasion, and as this operator writes, the scene is switched to one of a girl and a man in a car racing with an express train, the girl leaning over and kissing the man, when a baby might have known that it was a risky thing to do.
Constance Bennett impersonates the more sophisticated of the trio of chorus girls. She is attractive and does as well as one can expect. Joan Crawford figures as the unfortunate Irene, and Sally O’Neill manifests a penchant for impudent comedy as Mary.
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Jul 1922 – Reader Opinion

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Apr 1922 – Hollywood Boulevardier Chat

Alittle bit of gossip I picked up from friends say Rudolph Valentino’s new house with no bride apparent on Whitley Heights, Hollywood is the most sensatoinal and exotic piece of property in the movie colony.  Nobody knows what he is going to do with it.  Presumbly he bought it in a fit of exuberance on discovering he would not be paying alimony in connection from his divorce from Jean Acker

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9 Dec 1913 – Youthful Dreams Sails

In 1913, on this day, an 18-year-old, Rudolph Valentino, with youthful dreams and ambitions leaves familiarity behind for an unknown.  A passenger on the S.S. Cleveland, the ship will take him, and others like him to a better life in America. The S.S. Cleveland was a steam powered ship, operated by the Hamburg America Line, transporting both cargo and passenger.  In the end, he was a survivor and achieved the American Dream.

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12 Oct 1923 – Sheik Swamped by Demand for a Hair Lock

Rudolph Valentino holidaying in London, has been inundated with requests from English flappers for locks of his hair.  He would probably have been balder than Bob Fitzsimmons he had complied with every request.

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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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17 Apr 1927 – Why Europe’s High Society Smashes Beauty’s Perfect Romance

An envied position as “Broadway Darling” a fiery romance with a brilliant young musician, contacts with continental diplomatic society and then the disillusionment of old world standards for a new world wife.  These things brought silent film star Consuelo Flowerton, beauty, violinist, artist’s model, back to America from her adopted home in Europe back to more trials and tribulations and the harsh necessity of finding again the place she had surrendered such a light heart only a few months before.  Europe, claim the gossips “high hatted”  pretty Consuelo. Europe failed to take into consideration her remarkable gifts. Europe expected her this American girl accustomed to American modes of living to become continental over night; expected her to ‘learn the language’ and become one of them without preparation or acclimation. When she was unable to meet those foreignstandards he left her husband, the brilliant young orchestra conductor Dirk Foch, already a celebrity abroad as conductor of the Vienna Concert Society, and came back home, determined to resume her lofty position among the reigning beauties of A merican stage and screen.  When Consuelo Flowerton left America she was celebrated beauty, a favourite along Broadway and those tributary rialtos in a half score cities in other parts of the country.  Her name in Electric lights above the box office brought the crowds tumbling in. Money came easy then and fame was her middle name. These she put behind her, never dreaming her romance would come to naught and that sometime the fickle public might again, be asked to applaud her before the footlights.  The plaudits Consuelo Flowerton received in the days before her marriage had not been confined to the auditorium of a theatre. A brilliant art model at a top-notch salary and a Ziegfeld follies girl. But it was the famous Navy Girl poster painted by the celebrated artist, Howard Chandler Christy, which made her face familiar to many thousands. She was on her way to the top to the place she had occupied before she fell in love with Dirk Foch.  But let Consuelo tell of her collapse of her “perfect romance” as the marriage of this brilliant young star and her talented husband had been called.  Let her give the strange reasons for their separation and the heart rending decision of the Dutch Courts, which makes it necessary for her to give up her baby for six months of each year to her husband, who has remained in Europe.  “I met Dirk Foch at a symphony concert he conducted here in New York she explains. “During the concert, I admired his work. I considered him a genius. When the concert was over and I was introduced by a mutual friend it was love at first sight and in two months we were married. Then followed a honeymoon in Java. Dirk’s father was Governor General of the Dutch East Indies and we certainly had a wonderful time.  We had wined, dined and feted in royal style with a future that seemed very rosy”. Then we started for our home in Europe.  The prospect of living in Europe thrilled me beyond words.  We traveled abroad from place to place, entertained and were entertained. Then Dirk obtained a conductor position of the Vienna Concert Society, one of the most celebrated of European musical organizations. It was a rare for so young a conductor to be selected.  It was in Vienna that our marital troubles began.  The principal cause was our lack of a home.  We had to move from place to place. Always we were unsettled and generally broke.  We had a positon to maintain that was out of proportion to Dirk’s income. Because of Dirk’s fathers position, people we associated with naturally assumed we had plenty of money.  In reality we had very little.  In spite of this we had to keep up the pretense, dining at expensive places associating with rich people like Fritz Kreisler the violinist, Maria Jeritz the blonde soprano. They entertained lavishly and we were naturally expected to do the same.  When Winter came it found us high and dry financially. We moved from furnished flat to furnished flat and in desperation I decided to try house-keeping. That was terrible. Never had I done a thing of that kind. I was willing to learn, and certainly tried hard enough but it was impossible.  I might have learned over here, but in Vienna Never.  No woman who hasn’t kept house in Vienna can understand the difficulties had encountered.  “I couldn’t speak German, and it was a disadvantage. It became known among other shopkeepers and others I was an American and when I went shopping they took advantage of my ignorance and vented their spleen against America by charging me double prices and giving me inferior goods.  I would ask for one thing and got another.  My neighbour hampered instead of helping me, and it became unbearable. The apartments were very old and rickety.  It almost seemed as if they’d fall down on us.  We did not ride in the elevators in crowds and we didn’t dare send our trunks up on the elevators. We had to have them carried up. The lifts would have collapsed if we had put that much weight on them.  Furthermore, there was no delivery stem. If I had shopping I had to carry my own packages. When the servant shopped it seemed it cost so much more than it should I couldn’t trust her. Once in carrying packages my fingers were nearly frost bitten, and this condition remained until two months ago.  All of this might seem trivial, but when these little irritations keep piling up they seem monstrous and ultimately sent this marriage on the rocks. My husband was a genius. I cared for him deeply and still do. But he is the type of man, that should never marry or at least, he should married a woman his own age.  He needed a mother to take care of him and I couldn’t do it, because I couldn’t even take care of myself. It was during this time my little daughter Nina was born. My health was delicate and Dirk, I knew was unhappy under the yoke of this marriage. I do not say that he ever was anything but kind and considerable toward me but money problems, household worries got on his nerves and mine. Each year, for the three and a half years we were married, I decided I’d try it out a while longer.  But finally, the strain became too great and divorced in Holland. Immediately after the divorce, I came to New York and tried to get work.  I had decided to give up musical comedy and enter straight drama. After three months of walking from agency to agency, I finally landed a part in The Desperate Pilot. I was very happy, but lasted only one week.  I’m not discouraged though.  I’m going to keep right on trying. I’m happier than I’ve been in years. I feel free for the first time.  I don’t think, I’ll ever marry again. A woman should try marriage once, I think, but if she’s not successful at it, she ought to take up a career”.  She can only be happy when she’s free and independent.  Just how Consuelo Flowerton will carry on with her independence here now that she found the producers guard their doors a bit more closely than in days gone by, what with beauty contest winners and the like lurking behind every pillar and post and her own reputation has been dissipated by the unkind years, time only can tell.  Perhaps she will again turn to the movies for a contract.  She starred in one picture with no less a cinema deity than with the late Rudolph Valentino who was fascinated by her charms.
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26 Nov 1925- Townsville Daily Bulletin London Rudolph Valentino Returns

Rudolph Valentino, the famous cinema actor who just arrived from America, was the centre of an extraordinary scenes at a West End Cinema theatre, where he personally attended the occasion of the screening of one of his films. He was surrounded by a seething crowd, mostly women. The police forced them back and the doors had to be locked after the performance. Valentino rather than face the crowd which remained in the street, had to escape over the roof of the theatre.

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