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Valentino (1977)

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

Director:

Ken Russell

Writers:

Ken Russell (screenplay), Mardik Martin (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rudolf Nureyev ... Rudolph Valentino
Leslie Caron ... Alla Nazimova
Michelle Phillips ... Natasha Rambova
Carol Kane ... Fatty's Girl
Felicity Kendal ... June Mathis
Seymour Cassel ... George Ullman
Peter Vaughan ... Rory O'Neil
Huntz Hall ... Jesse Lasky
David de Keyser David de Keyser ... Joseph Schenck
Alfred Marks ... Richard Rowland
Anton Diffring ... Baron Long
Jennie Linden ... Agnes Ayres
William Hootkins ... Mr. Fatty
Bill McKinney ... Jail Cop
Don Fellows ... George Melford
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When Valentino Dances...He DANCES! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 October 1977 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Valentino See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie started filming on 16th August 1976 in the 50th Anniversary year of the death of Rudolph Valentino who had died on 23rd August 1926 thus the picture was filming during the exact 50th Anniversary period of Valentino's passing-away. See more »

Quotes

Jesse Lasky: If you ever want a job as a slave girl, just give me a ring.
Natasha Rambova: Fine. If you ever want to learn how to run a studio, just give me one.
See more »

Connections

References What Price Beauty? (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Ken Russell's Brilliant and Irreverent Valentino Bio.
26 July 2007 | by st-shotSee 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.


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