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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User Reviews

Interesting evocation of a meeting between two 1930's celebrities
12 February 2004 | by (NYC/FL) – See all my reviews

In this intriguing short we see a meeting between the editorialist and wit, H.L Mencken, and the silent film star Rudolph Valentino.

While the voice-over is interesting, the chemistry between the two men is riveting. Mencken may be heterosexual but is still affected by the presence of that animal magnetism that made Valentino the star that he was.

Perhaps I was projecting, but it felt that the sexual tension was thick enough to cut with a knife.

Even without that aspect, this short is well worth the viewing for its evocation of a period but with that element it's memorable.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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