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Valentino (1951)

Approved | | Drama | 10 March 1951 (USA)
Italian immigrant Rudolph Valentino makes it big in silent Hollywood, but he ends up struggling between his career and the woman he loves.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story "Valentino As I Knew Him")
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Joan Carlisle / Sarah Gray
...
Bill King
...
Lila Reyes
...
Luigi Verducci
...
Maria Torres
Lloyd Gough ...
Eddie Morgan
...
Mark Towers
Anthony Dexter ...
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Storyline

Largely fictional account of the last few years in the life of matinée idol Rudolph Valentino. Regardless of what he was doing professionally, women were attracted to him, and he in turn loved them back which often got him into trouble. After voluntarily leaving a dancing gig due to a dispute with the troupe's leading lady, that gig which brought him to the US, he needed to work a series of odd jobs before movie director Bill King discovered him working as a taxi dancer/gigolo in an upscale dance club. In reality, King's companion that evening, his professional and personal leading lady Joan Carlisle, unofficially discovered Valentino earlier when they had a romance aboard the transatlantic crossing which brought Valentino to the US. At the time, she was traveling incognito under the name Sarah Gray. Valentino's movie career was somewhat stalled until he campaigned for and won the leading role in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), after which his career skyrocketed. By his ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The stormy life...the many loves of...VALENTINO See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 March 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rodolfo Valentino  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Edward Small chose Anthony Dexter for the lead from over 75,000 applicants and 400 screen tests. Among those who tested included Ricardo Montalban, Fernando Lamas, Jon Hall, John Derek, Guy Madison, Arturo de Córdova, and Guy Williams. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Anthony Dexter is fictionalized Valentino in typical Hollywood bio...
9 October 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

ANTHONY DEXTER, thanks to make-up artists and costuming, makes a believable stand-in as Rudolf Valentino, the silent screen's biggest male heartthrob, but creative license had to be taken with the screenplay because many of the participants in Valentino's life threatened to sue. The result is a rather lifeless bio smacking of Hollywood artifice.

This standard treatment of the Valentino story is interesting mainly because it gives a pretty accurate look at a period during the 1920s when silent films were the rage. It also provides some nice eye candy in the form of ELEANOR PARKER and PATRICIA MEDINA, both easy on the eyes and capable enough actresses to bring some life to a rather dull screenplay.

All of it has been photographed in luscious Technicolor under Lewis Allen's direction. He gets the most out of the dance sequences and it's here that Dexter's Valentino really comes to life. Otherwise, it's a pretty one-note performance throughout. Director Allen lets DONA DRAKE do her usual job of strenuously over-acting the role of a hot blooded Spanish dancer who is too aware of Valentino's roving eye. There are times when Dexter's Valentino resembles George Raft rather than the silent superstar.

RICHARD CARLSON and OTTO KRUGER do nicely as director and producer, and other parts are well played. I have no idea how much of the script is strictly fiction but it seems to capture the essence of the Valentino story, showing his early reputation as a gigolo and his eventual climb to stardom through a series of well mounted adventure romances.

Eleanor Parker gives the story class with her performance as Joan Carlisle, a co-star Valentino is continually getting a brush-off from, and eventually marrying Richard Carlson's character. The on again/off again romantic relationship between Parker and Dexter is at the heart of the story. How much of it is strictly fiction, I don't know.

His illness and subsequent death comprise the last scenes, but the dramatics involving disclosure of his affair with Carlisle seems like a creation of the scriptwriter. The mysterious lady in black who brings a rose to his gravesite every year is mentioned and gives a touch of mystery to those final scenes.

Nice attempt at a bio, but it's an uneven, surface profile of the star and never gets one deeply involved in his story.


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