Valentino

Overview

Rudolph Valentino, born in Italy in 1895 as Alfonzo Raffaele Pierre Philibert Guglielmi, emigrated to the U.S. and became for a time the reigning male romantic lead of the silent-film era. He died in 1926, having led a short, troubled and tempestuous life which included several stints in prison. The crowds surrounding his coffin before and during his funeral were among the largest ever seen in the U.S. In this film, Ken Russell has used events from the famous actor's life as the basis for an extended meditation ...
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Overview

Rudolph Valentino, born in Italy in 1895 as Alfonzo Raffaele Pierre Philibert Guglielmi, emigrated to the U.S. and became for a time the reigning male romantic lead of the silent-film era. He died in 1926, having led a short, troubled and tempestuous life which included several stints in prison. The crowds surrounding his coffin before and during his funeral were among the largest ever seen in the U.S. In this film, Ken Russell has used events from the famous actor's life as the basis for an extended meditation on the nature of stardom, and especially on what it means to be a sex idol. Beginning and ending with the funeral of Valentino Rudolf Nureyev, the story chronicles his rise to Hollywood stardom from life as an Italian emigrant dishwasher and show-dancer. Often embroiled in controversies about his manliness or perceived lack of , in the film he dies as a result of internal injuries suffered in a boxing match he fought in to defend his honor.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
One of flamboyant director Ken Russell's more accessible biopics, Valentino is not totally successful but has several moments that are unforgettable. Among these are a horrifying jail sequence which takes advantage of the director's uncanny ability to capture grotesque cruelty; an explicitly sensual almost-seduction in a faux desert setting; and a powerful (and painful) climactic boxing scene. There are also a number of the director's trademark over-the-top visual flourishes, such as Leslie Caron's entrance as she comes to view Valentino's body; like most such moments, it's ultimately distracting and goes on too long to make the desired contribution to the film, but it's impressive nonetheless. Fortunately, Russell keeps much of his excesses under control; unfortunately, the script does not reward him for his relative restraint, as it fails to create a fully three-dimensional portrait of the titular character. It revolves around an intriguing idea ' that the screen's greatest lover was actually a slave to the women in his life ' but that idea is not really developed, and there is no attempt to explore why this should have been. Indeed, aside from the fact that Valentino is presented as a reluctant sex symbol who would rather have devoted his time to growing oranges, there is little interesting about the character. Rudolph Nureyev's unsure performance does not help matters, although he at least is physically right for the role. Caron is amusing in a supporting part, but Michelle Phillips fares less well; she is too relentlessly one-note for a role of this size. Like many films about performers, Valentino fails to make the central character come alive, but it does have enough assets to keep the viewer fairly entertained.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/15/2011
  • UPC: 883904219460
  • Original Release: 1977
  • Source: Mgm Mod
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:07:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 10,758

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rudolf Nureyev Valentino
Leslie Caron Nazimova
Michelle Phillips Natasha Rambova
Carol Kane Fatty's Girl
Felicity Kendal June Mathis
Seymour Cassel Ullman
Huntz Hall Jesse Lasky
Alfred Marks Rowland
David de Keyser Joseph Schenck
John Alderson
Mark Baker
James Berwick
Norman Chancer
Anthony Dowell Vaslav Nijinsky
Don Fellows George Melford
Hal Galili
Percy Herbert
William Hootkins Fatty Arbuckle
Lindsay Kemp
Bill McKinney Jail Cop
Robert O'Neil
Mildred Shay
Dudley Sutton Willie
Anton Diffring Baron Long
Georgina Hale
John Justin Sidney Olcott
Jennie Linden Agnes Ayres
Penelope Milford Lorna Sinclair
Ken Russell Rex Ingram
Linda Thorson Billie Streeter
Peter Vaughan Rory O'Neil
Robin Clarke Jack De Saulles
Technical Credits
Ken Russell Director, Screenwriter
Stuart Baird Editor
Harry Benn Producer
Stanley Black Score Composer
John Byrum Screenwriter
Robert Chartoff Producer
Gillian Gregory Choreography
Philip Harrison Art Director
Mardik Martin Screenwriter
Malcolm Middleton Art Director
Shirley Russell Songwriter, Costumes/Costume Designer
Brad Steiger Original Story
Peter Suschitzky Cinematographer
Ian Whittaker Set Decoration/Design
Irwin Winkler Producer
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