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Good Night Valentino (2003)

Dramatization of an H.L. Mencken story. Rudolph Valentino comes to Menckin's hotel room to seek advice about how to deal with a newspaper editorial that claims Valentino's screen career has emasculated the American male.



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Cast overview:
H.L. Mencken
The Maid


HL Mencken describes a dinner with Rudolph Valentino a few days before the actor dies. He has come to seek Mencken's advice: he's been criticized in the Chicago Tribune for causing the effeminizing of the American male. Valentino is outraged and asks Mencken to write the truth. Mencken looks for a sub-text and finds in the actor the agony of a civilized man thrown into situations of intolerable vulgarity; Valentino finds his own life grotesquely futile. Mencken concludes that man must remain alone and lonely even with crowds surging about him. We watch their encounter. The evening ends, the men part; Mencken concludes that death did Valentino a favor. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A great man is not only great, but also a man.


Drama | Short





Release Date:

January 2003 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Included in the Film Festival Collection DVD: Shorts!, Vol. 2. See more »

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User Reviews

Touching Portrayal Of A Misunderstood Superstar
29 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First of all I really adore this movie. It was like getting a secret glimpse into one of Valentino's most private moments. It was heartbreaking to see how upset Valentino was in his final days. The public often confused him with the characters he played on screen. In reality he was a decent, shy, funny, caring man who longed for a happy family life, children and true love. I do believe that Natacha Rambova was the love of his life and that he eventually would have ended up happy with her if he had lived. It's awful how the newspaper questioned his manhood and so sad how much pain it caused him. He just wanted the public to know the truth. Being the first "Superstar" of film in history it must have been overwhelming to have to deal with it all. I think that Mencken read a little too much into what Valentino said and that Valentino was specifically upset about this particular situation. His manager George Ullman said that it was one of the last things that he spoke of and it did contribute to his death. It's so sad that Rudolph Valentino didn't live to get the happiness that he deserved - to either get back with Natacha or fall in love with a woman who would have given him the happy family life he so desperately wanted.

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