In 1926 the tragic and untimely death of a silent screen actor caused female moviegoers to riot in the streets and in some cases to commit suicide - that actor was Rudolph Valentino. ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Rainbow (1989)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young woman deals in her own personal way with the trials of adolescence and young adulthood in early 1900s England.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Sammi Davis, Amanda Donohoe, Paul McGann
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Piano teacher Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky struggles against his homosexuality by marrying, but unfortunately he chooses a nymphomaniac whom he cannot satisfy.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Glenda Jackson, Max Adrian
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Biographical film of the life of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Dorothy Tutin, Scott Antony, Helen Mirren
Lisztomania (1975)
Biography | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A send-up of the bawdy life of Romantic composer/piano virtuoso Franz Liszt, with ubiquitous phallic imagery and a good portion of the film devoted to Liszt's "friendship" with fellow ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Roger Daltrey, Sara Kestelman, Paul Nicholas
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The assistant stage manager of a small-time theatrical company (Polly Browne) is forced to understudy for the leading lady (Rita) at a matinée performance at which an illustrious Hollywood ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Max Adrian
Mahler (1974)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Both trifles and structure are tossed out the door by director Ken Russell in this film. Here, historical content matters not so much as metaphors, feelings, emotions, and interpretations, ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Robert Powell, Georgina Hale, Lee Montague
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The thirty year-old hard-worker Bobby Grady is married with two children with the frigid Amy Grady and their marriage is in crisis. Bobby is invited to work in the night shift for the owner... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Anthony Perkins, Bruce Davison
Women in Love (1969)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The battle of the sexes and relationships among the elite of Britian's industrial Midlands in the 1920s. Gerald Crich and Rupert Berkin are best friends who fall in love with a pair of ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Alan Bates, Oliver Reed, Glenda Jackson
Gothic (1986)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Story of the night that Mary Shelley gave birth to the horror classic "Frankenstein." Disturbed drug induced games are played and ghost stories are told one rainy night at the mad Lord ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands, Natasha Richardson
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Late on Guy Fawkes Day, 1892, Oscar Wilde arrives at a high-class brothel where a surprise awaits: a staging of his play "Salome," with parts played by prostitutes, Wilde's host, his lover ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Glenda Jackson, Stratford Johns, Nickolas Grace
Tommy (1975)
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and, subsequently, the object of a religious cult.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Roger Daltrey, Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed
Frances (1982)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The true story of Frances Farmer's meteoric rise to fame in Hollywood and the tragic turn her life took when she was blacklisted.

Director: Graeme Clifford
Stars: Jessica Lange, Kim Stanley, Sam Shepard
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Starlet
...
...
Huntz Hall ...
Alfred Marks ...
Richard Rowland
David de Keyser ...
...
Billie Streeter
...
Marjorie Tain
Lindsay Kemp ...
Angus McBride
...
Rory O'Neil
Anthony Dowell ...
...
Lorna Sinclair (as Penny Milford)
Edit

Storyline

In 1926 the tragic and untimely death of a silent screen actor caused female moviegoers to riot in the streets and in some cases to commit suicide - that actor was Rudolph Valentino. Ballroom dancer Valentino manipulated his good looks and animal-like grace into a Hollywood career. His smouldering love making, tinged with a touch of masterful cruelty, expressed a sexuality which was at once both shocking and sensual. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In life he was a movie star, in death he became a legend.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1977 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ken Russell's Valentino  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Both actor-dancer Rudolf Nureyev and silent movie star Rudolph Valentino share the same nickname of "Rudi" / "Rudy". The same 1977 year's Valentino spoof The World's Greatest Lover (1977), first released in the same year as Valentino (1977), had Gene Wilder's character's real name as Rudy Hickman but parades in that movie as Rudy Valentino, with Wilder's character billed as Rudy Valentino in the closing credits with no mention of Rudy Hickman. Wilder's Rudy Hickman character becomes Rudy Valentine in The World's Greatest Lover (1977). The "Rudy Valentine" name invented by Rudy Hickman (Wilder) for himself in the film is suppose to be a direct rip-off of silent film star Rudolph Valentino. See more »

Quotes

Natasha Rambova: Is that Valentino? Well, he certainly can dance.
Alla Nazimova: What? I like. Yes, I like very much. Very good. Oh, beautiful. Beautiful animal! Like a tiger! He moves like a tiger! That face. What sensuality. Oh, how clever you are.
See more »

Connections

References The Wild Party (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Dark Eyes
(uncredited)
Arranged and adapted by Stanley Black
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Ken Russell's Brilliant and Irreverent Valentino Bio.
26 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As in all of his biography films Ken Russell takes no prisoners. A series of warped biographies on composers (Mahler, Tchaikovsky, List)incensed more than entertained audiences and critics. Laced with dark humor, vibrant costuming and Russell's sardonic use of the composers works in conjunction with his colorful and outlandish compositions the films were visual feasts that bordered on character assassination.

In Valentino, Russell comes to America to offer his take on silent Hollywood and its biggest star of the era, Rudolph Valentino. Russell is relentless in his depiction of the exploitative and greedy nature of producers who in the opening scene stand over Valentino's body lamenting financial loss. Russell also works over newspaper reporters, actresses, Valentino's ex-wives and a comedian known as Fatty (Arbuckle?). Dancer, Rudolph Nureyev is no actor but as Valentino his poorly pronounced flatly emoted English fits and contributes to his sympathetic character.

As in all Russell films there are scenes that are lush and grandly staged (ably assisted by ex-wife, Shirley Russell's original and over the top costuming) such as Leslie Caron's entrance at the funeral home, the fight sequence where ball room dancing takes place in between rounds, the producer with the pet gorilla in his living room, and a cult fan gathering outside Valentino's mansion.

This film quickly sank from sight when it was released and thirty years later consensus remains the same. I personally believe however that Valentino is a sharply drawn dark humored satire that spits cynicism at two institutions (Hollywood and the media) that it depended heavily on for its success. Valentino succeeds on every level and that was probably its problem.


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
when is it ever gonna be on dvd? hahntsak
Mister Fatty leroykevin
New Biography on Ken Russell Now Out! startlepoint
Discuss Valentino (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?