6.1/10
1,174
29 user 32 critic

Valentino (1977)

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... 

Lisztomania (1975)
Biography | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Composer and pianist Franz Liszt attempts to overcome his hedonistic lifestyle while repeatedly being drawn back into it by the many women in his life and fellow composer Richard Wagner.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Roger Daltrey, Sara Kestelman, Paul Nicholas
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    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 7.2/10 X  

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

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Dorothy Tutin, Scott Antony, Helen Mirren
Mahler (1974)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Composer Gustav Mahler's life, told in a series of flashbacks as he and his wife discuss their failing marriage during a train journey.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Robert Powell, Georgina Hale, Lee Montague
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
Gothic (1986)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The Shelleys visit Lord Byron and compete to write a horror story.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands, Natasha Richardson
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When the leading lady of a low-budget musical revue sprains her ankle, the assistant stage manager is forced to understudy and perform in her place, becoming a star and finding love in the process.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Max Adrian
Women in Love (1969)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two best friends fall in love with a pair of women, but the relationships soon go in very different directions.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Alan Bates, Oliver Reed, Glenda Jackson
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A mysterious woman, fashion designer by day, prostitute by night, and accused of murder, is hounded by two men: a married father of two, and a sexually repressed preacher.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Anthony Perkins, Bruce Davison
Whore (1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Theresa Russell, Benjamin Mouton, Antonio Fargas
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg
The Devils (1971)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Reed, Dudley Sutton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Starlet
...
...
...
...
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:

Nureyev is Valentino See more »

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

Director Ken Russell later admitted the film played better without the film's most controversial scene. The Spinning Image website states: "The most infamous sequence has [Rudolph] Valentino jailed overnight for bigamy, where he is assaulted by a furiously masturbating Dudley Sutton and made to piss himself by savage prison guard Bill McKinney . . .". Rudolf Nureyev said of the notorious sequence: "Well, it was pretty gruesome. But I believed it could actually have happened and so I overcame my misgivings about doing the scene. What happens is that Valentino is the object of scorn by his cell-mates and the gaolers. His so-called sexual prowess is put to the test. They want to see the real thing. The gaoler takes away my bathroom privileges, and I'm forced to urinate in my pants, while all sorts of depraved things take place around me. It's a sadistic scene, but there is some possible truth in it. Anyway, I did it, and I think it works for the film". See more »

Quotes

Rudolph Valentino: Now, I must go back inside there or forever lose my self respect.
Natasha Rambova: Self respect? I'd call it vanity. But, if you really want to win the respect of the crew, you better screw that little whore, Lorna! And make sure everybody knows about it!
See more »

Connections

References The Married Virgin (1918) See more »

Soundtracks

New Star in Heaven Tonight
Sung by Richard Day-Lewis
Lyrics by J. Keirn Brennan, Irving Mills (uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A very good Ken Russell film
14 November 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A film that purports to tell the true story of Valentino (played by Rudolph Nureyev). It doesn't. It does bring up his alleged homosexuality (heck, it opens with him dancing with a man!) and the fact that his two wives were both lesbians. But, according to this, Valentino was seriously wounded in a boxing match that led to his death. There never was a boxing match. That's one of many inaccuracies in the film. Still, Ken Russell's films always play quick and loose with the facts so it didn't really bother me. This is one of his better films--but not one of his best.

It starts off with Valentino's funeral and, one by one, we meet the women in his life and (by flashback) we see his life and career. The two main ones are Alla Nazimova (Leslie Caron) and Natasha Rambova (Michelle Phillips). Nazimova's entrance into Valentino's is a REAL eye-popper (even by Russell standards) and really has to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately Caron is not that good in the part. She overplays way too much. She does fake a Russian accent--but it renders most of her dialogue unintelligible. Phillips is much better as Rambova. She doesn't try and fake an accent and gives a very easy-going, pleasing performance.

The sets are just beautiful--large, colorful (especially the funeral) and really opulent. Ditto the costumes--they're true to the period and just look great. The picture moves quickly and I was never bored. So why do I think it's only good and not great? One word--Nureyev.

He's terrible. He looks nothing like Valentino--Valentino was handsome, Nureyev isn't. Also Valentino was 31 when he died--Nureyev was 39 when he made this--and looks it. Valentino was a tall, muscular man. Nureyev is short and not muscular at all. However he IS nicely toned (from all that dancing) and he holds his own in a surprising nude scene (with a full frontal shot). Also he's Russian and he tries to imitate an Italian accent--it makes most of his dialogue incomprehensible (the dialogue scenes between him and Caron are bewildering--neither one can be understood!). Also Nureyev was known for his dancing, not acting. He really does try and occasionally pulls out a good moment or two but, ultimately, he's all wrong for the role. And there are way too many sequences of Nureyev dancing. His dancing is great...but Valentino was not really known for that.

I do recommend it but I really wonder what Russell was thinking when he cast Nureyev. A must for Russell fans.


10 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?