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. ...
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Grizzled American private detective in England investigates a complicated case of blackmail turned murder involving a rich but honest elderly general, his two loose socialite daughters, a pornographer and a gangster.
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
Is that Valentino? Well, he certainly can dance.
What? I like. Yes, I like very much. Very good. Oh, beautiful. Beautiful animal! Like a tiger! He moves like a tiger! That face. What sensuality. Oh, how clever you are.
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Ken Russell, the distinguished English director, gives us his own take on the legend of Rudolph Valentino, the legendary silent star. This biopic that Mr. Russell has written with Mardick Martin, doesn't deliver the promise of showing the man behind the fame. In a way, this is probably the interpretation of the writers, based on well known facts, no doubt. However, the film that one sees has an amateurish look, that has a lot to do with the casting of the title character: Rudolf Nureyev.
Mr. Nureyev was an accomplished dancer. As an actor, either his style is not what one expected, or Mr. Russell's direction to the star was completely wrong. The end result is a picture much too long, but with the usual Ken Russell palette of rich colors and lush scenery. The traditional excesses of the director are present in the film, and while we don't care for this man the way he is presented, one can see Mr. Russell's exuberance all over the film. One can't help to wonder what picture would have been made with another actor in the title role.
The film offers brilliant moments where Ken Russell shines, but the end result is uninteresting. At the end, Valentino, the man, remains an enigma.
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