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Gabriel Garko: Rudolph Valentino

Gabriel GarkoGabriel Garko (photo) will play Rudolph Valentino (a.k.a. Rodolfo Valentino in places like Italy and Brazil) in a two-part Italian TV movie. To be directed by Alessio Inturri for Mediaset, the Valentino project is reportedly to be filmed this year in both Italy and the United States.

Gabriel Garko, who'll turn 38 next July 12, has worked steadily on Italian television. His feature-film appearances, however, have been sporadic. Most notable among those were supporting roles in Ferzan Ozpetek's gay/bisexual drama Le fate ignoranti / The Ignorant Fairies (2001) and Franco Zeffirelli's Callas Forever (2002).

In terms of movie fandom, the Italian-born Rudolph Valentino was the George Clooney / Robert Pattinson / Johnny Depp / Zac Efron of the early-to-mid-1920s. One of Hollywood's earliest superstars, Valentino's movie career skyrocketed in 1921, after he was featured in Rex Ingram's blockbuster The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and in George Melford's The Sheik. Following complications from an appendicitis / gastric ulcers operation, Valentino died in New York City on August 1926.

Check out Rudolph Valentino: Q&A with Valentino Site Creator Donna Hill and a Valentino Q&A with author Allan Ellenberger.

Gabriel Garko as Rudolph Valentino source: Fiction Italiane, via The Silent Film Lounge.

Jude Law as Douglas Fairbanks

Jude LawJude Law as Douglas Fairbanks? It's hard to imagine the cool and aloof (and blue-eyed blond) Law playing Fairbanks, the ever-smiling, ever-bouncing, swarthy hero of silent era blockbusters such as The Three Musketeers, Robin Hood, and The Thief of Bagdad. But stranger things have happened: I'd never have imagined Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, but that didn't prevent Williams from earning excellent reviews, critics' awards, and an Oscar nod for her performance in Simon Curtis' My Week with Marilyn.

Anyhow, according to Forbes magazine, Poverty Row Entertainment producers Jennifer DeLia and Julie Pacino (Al Pacino's daughter) want Jude Law to play opposite Lily Rabe's Mary Pickford in their upcoming Pickford biopic, which DeLia is set to direct. Fairbanks and Pickford, the King and Queen of Hollywood, were married in 1920. It was fairy-tale marriage – at least as far as the fan magazines were concerned.

Away from the cameras and the press, Fairbanks had affairs with other women, while Pickford, who had little in common with the young urchins she played, eventually became an alcoholic. The couple were divorced in 1936. That same year, Fairbanks remarried; three years later, he died of a heart attack at age 56.

Mary Pickford was the second Best Actress Academy Award winner, and the first actress to win for a talking picture (the dreadful Coquette). Pickford and Fairbanks, I should add, were two of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences founders. Along with D.W. Griffith and Charles Chaplin, the duo also founded United Artists. (Part of the old Pickford-Fairbanks Studios was recently torn down.)

Later in life, Pickford, the star of progressive, socially conscious movies such as The Hoodlum and Tess of the Storm Country, would turn into a quite reactionary “conservative.” She died in 1979. (See also: Mary Pickford Oscar sale controversy.)

Jude Law-Douglas Fairbanks connection

Broadway actress Lily Rabe played opposite Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice. As for Jude Law, who'll turn 40 next December, he has already played Errol Flynn in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator. That's Law's Fairbanks connection: Flynn would famously reprise one of Fairbanks' key roles in Michael Curtiz and William Keighley's The Adventures of Robin Hood. (See also: Douglas Fairbanks as the 1922 Robin Hood.)

Best known for his two Sherlock Holmes movies opposite Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law has been appearing in films since the mid-'90s. Law has two Oscar nominations to his credit, both in movies directed by Anthony Minghella: Best Supporting Actor for The Talented Mr. Ripley, opposite Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow, and Cold Mountain, with Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellweger.

Oh, just about another Jude Law-Douglas Fairbanks connection: Robert Downey Jr. Law's Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows co-star earned an Oscar nomination for playing United Artists co-founder Charles Chaplin in Richard Attenborough's Chaplin back in 1992.

As an aside, according to the Forbes article, Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia) was interested in directing the Mary Pickford biopic, but “a matter of scheduling” prevented him from taking the helm.


         
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3 Comments to Gabriel Garko: Rudolph Valentino

  1. Harish Chander

    I don't know italian but just want to ask that Why has Gabriel Garko not joined hollywood???

  2. Joseph Termini

    Bellissimo ?? YES ! ABSOLUTELY ! but mister Garko must learn to be VALENTINO inside
    of him and not only with…….. his pretty face . The nude picture was and is a very stupid
    move .Have a nice day . J.Termini

  3. Rita

    When will the DVD be available for the United States (Rudolph Valentino)?

    Thank you,

    R