eek! it's the Sheik!
In Australia in 1977 we were in the boom years and love affair with colour TV. Most cinema releases movies at the box office dropped dead.. and most were very good... or at least interesting.... VALENTINO was one of them. A wildly ambitious and quite well imagined 1920s fiction on Valentino's career and loves, this Ken Russell pic has spectacular imagery and hilarious casting (Huntz Hall as the head of Paramount) but as usual in a Russell film was seriously derailed by grotesque sexual moments. The film has a great sense of time and place and with great female casting, spectacular dance scenes and breathtaking art direction VALENTNO gives the viewer 2 hours of lavish early 20s Hollywood life. Any film with both Carol Kane and Leslie Caron with Nureyev must be seen to be believed anyway. Some cinemas of the time (well, mine anyway) ran it as a double feature with NEW YORK NEW YORK and found the same audience enjoyed both... even if they needed a meal break and a walk around the block to get through this 5 hour musical fruit salad. In the same week we also ran THE WORLD'S GREATEST LOVER which, also with Carol Kane and equally gorgeous 20s visuals missed its mark because of the insufferable antics of Gene Wilder over-eating the whole production. Yes, over-eating. Nobody survived.
- Dec 9, 2007
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