When M. Beaucaire, a handsome barber, catches the Duke of Winterset cheating at gambling, Beaucaire exacts Winterset's cooperation in sneaking Beaucaire into a great ball, disguised as the ... See full summary »
In Italy, handsome nobleman Rudolph Valentino (as Rodrigo "Rod" Torriani) has difficulty managing creditors and lovesick female admirers. While avoiding a creditor and daughter, Mr. Valentino comes to the assistance of wrongly accused American antique dealer Casson Ferguson (as Jack Dorning), who has been mistaken for Valentino. The men become fast friends, and Mr. Ferguson brings Valentino to live and work with him in America. Valentino wants to curb his promiscuity, and Ferguson promises to help...
In New York, most women find Valentino irresistible. He is immediately attracted to Ferguson's secretary Gertrude Olmstead (as Mary Drake), though she is secretly in love with her boss. Valentino is startled to discover New York City is full of desirable and available women. He soon returns to his promiscuous ways. Out on the town, Valentino meets alluring gold-digger Nita Naldi (as Elise Van Zile). She pursues Ferguson for money and Valentino for sex. A hotel room is the meeting place for Naldi and several men. This threatens the friendship between Valentino and Ferguson. It may also mean tragedy...
"Cobra" (referring to the predatory characters played by both Valentino and Ms. Naldi) was another production which increased the control Valentino had over his films. At the time, many considered it a disappointment, thinking the star and companion Natacha Rambova had lost touch. The story centered around men's friendship instead of passionate romance, and Valentino kept his clothes on. But, it was nicely produced, Naldi added her usual spark, and Valentino got his desired chance to emote during the closing minutes.
This film was produced instead of "The Hooded Falcon", and completed before "The Eagle" (1925).