The Hollywood Heritage Museum will celebrate the birthday of silent movie icon and Latin Lover emeritus Rudolph Valentino on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. The event will include screenings of the abridged version of Blood and Sand (1922) and the short Rudolph Valentino and His 88 American Beauties. Additionally, rare photographs and artifacts will be on display in the lobby of the Hollywood Heritage Museum, and Donna Hill, author of Rudolph Valentino, The Silent Idol: His Life in Photographs, will be in attendance (more details below).
Directed by Fred Niblo (best known for the 1925 epic Ben-Hur), Blood and Sand stars Rudolph Valentino as a doomed toreador torn between good girl Martha Mansfield and vamp Nita Naldi. (Tyrone Power had the Valentino role in Rouben Mamoulian's 1941 Technicolor remake co-starring Linda Darnell and Rita Hayworth.)
Rudolph Valentino movies
Besides Blood and Sand, Rudolph Valentino starred in a number of major productions of the 1920s, among them Rex Ingram's epoch-making The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), opposite Alice Terry; Ingram's The Conquering Power (1921), once again opposite Alice Terry; George Melford's The Sheik (1921), with Agnes Ayres; Ray C. Smallwood's Camille (1921), starring Alla Nazimova; and Sam Wood's Beyond the Rocks (1922), with Gloria Swanson.
Also: Sidney Olcott's Monsieur Beaucaire (1924), with Doris Kenyon, Bebe Daniels, and Lois Wilson; Clarence Brown's The Eagle (1925), with Vilma Banky and Louise Dresser; and George Fitzmaurice's Son of the Sheik (1926), Valentino's last film, in which he was once again paired with Vilma Banky.
Born on May 6, 1895, in Castelanetta, Italy, Valentino died following a hospital infection and other complications at the age of 31 on August 23, 1926.
'Rudolph Valentino, The Silent Idol: His Life in Photographs'
According to the Hollywood Heritage Museum's press release, in Rudolph Valentino, The Silent Idol: His Life in Photographs author Donna Hill “retells the story of Valentino's life using a treasure trove or rare photographs. Hill will present a slide show of rare images from the book, including photographs excluded due to space requirements. Most of the images employed have not been seen since the 1920s; many have never been released publicly until now.”
The Hollywood Heritage Museum is located in the Lasky-DeMille Barn, at 2100 North Highland Avenue in Hollywood, across from the Hollywood Bowl. There's free parking. For more information, call 323-874-2276 or visit http://www.hollywoodheritage.org.
Rudolph Valentino Blood and Sand 1922 movie photo: Courtesy of Donna Hill.