Society-girl thrill seeker Lydia causes the death of motorcycle policeman and is prosecuted by her fiancé Daniel who describes in lurid detail the downfall of Rome. While she's in prison she reforms and Daniel becomes a wasted alcoholic.
Upon leaving prison, an ex con vows to go straight, but circumstances force him to return to crime. Meanwhile, a gang of crooks kidnaps a visiting British aristocrat, but the ex-con has an ... See full summary »
Valentino was 27 years old when "The Young Rajah" was filmed and released in 1922. In the film, Valentino's character, Amos Judd, has the "gift of prophecy" and premonitions of future events. At one point in the film, he asks his fiancée, Molly, to "set the date for our wedding - but make it soon or - I'll die of heart failure." Molly leans down to pick up a calendar that is open on the month of August. As if predicting a future event, in real life, Valentino died, just four years later, ironically, in the month of August, not of heart failure, but of inflammation of his left lung. See more »
The yoke is where the gods place it.
See more »
Except for Rudolph Valentino, whose name appears above the title, actors and their character names are credited only in the intertitles right before they appear on-screen and are listed in the same order in the IMDb cast. All other actors are marked uncredited. See more »
Rudolph Valentino (as Amos Judd) is a holy Indian prince, brought to America as a small boy; there, he was adopted by the Judds. The throne of Amos's real father had been seized by tyrannical Bertram Grassby (as Ali Kahn). Mr. Valentino is told of his true identity, but happily remains in America, where his muscles and magnetism make him a popular student at Harvard University. Valentino's innate precognitive abilities surface as he meets and falls in love with Wanda Hawley (as Molly Cabot). Due, undoubtedly, to his divine past, Valentino's gift of prophecy grows more pronounced. After his life is threatened, he must decide whether or not he should return to India and reclaim his throne.
Excellent restoration by Flicker Alley, the Library of Moving Images Collection, and Turner Classic Movies - the available footage and supplementary material have the integrity of the full film; the beginning footage is mostly lost, so the viewing pleasure improves over the running time. However, the story's "Mystical Eastern Hindu" exoticism hasn't aged well, and the film is only partially successful in its intent. Valentino and Grassby are passable as Indians (from India); actually, Valentino is better as an All-American.
The best aspect of the film is how it addresses racism - and, it is best portrayed by Wanda Hawley as Valentino's love interest; in effective scenes, she struggles with her own racism. She loves Valentino, but questions marrying a man who isn't her "kind". The film advises, "Men should be judged not by their tint of skin, the Gods they serve, the Vintage that they drink, nor by the way they fight, or love, or sin - but by the quality of thought they think." Ms. Hawley's struggle parallels Valentino's own - should he stay in America, or return to native India?
****** The Young Rajah (11/12/22) Phil Rosen ~ Rudolph Valentino, Wanda Hawley, Bertram Grassby
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?