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 »
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 Here, historical content matters not so much as metaphors, feelings, emotions, and interpretations, ...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 »
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 »
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 »
The prostitute Liz works on the streets of Los Angeles. She recalls her life in flashback, when she marries an alcoholic man. She leaves him with their son. Then she works as waitress in a ... See full summary »
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 »
Scottish archaeologist Angus Flint discovers an odd skull amid the ruins of a convent that he is excavating. Shortly thereafter, Lady Sylvia Marsh returns to Temple House, a nearby mansion,... See full summary »
A young woman's highly ordered and structured life is turned upside-down when she meets a handsome stranger at a party. Friendship soon develops into romance and for the first time in her ... See full summary »
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
Ken Russell's Brilliant and Irreverent Valentino Bio.
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.
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