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Silent Movies: Articles


How to Be a Latin Lover: Ricardo Cortez & Leading Ladies + Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Hollywood Star

How to be a Latin Lover: Ricardo Cortez, formerly known as Jacob Krantz from a working-class family of Austrian/Hungarian immigrants that had settled in New York City, succeeded in restyling himself as the next – even if, according to some, “second rank” – Rudolph Valentino. It's unclear whether or not the Italian-born Valentino, who died at age 31 in 1926, would have survived the coming of sound. Cortez, of course, did – but at a price. No longer getting the star buildup at Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount, in the early 1930s he became a contract player at the recently formed and relatively minor RKO, which featured him in series of mostly undistinguished programmers. A move to Warner Bros. in 1933 should have […]


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How to Be a Latin Lover: Ricardo Cortez & Leading Ladies + Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Hollywood Star



'Latin Lover' - The 2nd Valentino & 1st (and Best) Sam Spade: Q&A with Ricardo Cortez Biographer Dan Van Neste

“Latin Lover” Ricardo Cortez, who went on to play a series of all-American scoundrels and criminals, in addition to similar unsavory types of other nationalities. Although never as big a star as fellow silent era screen heartthrobs Rudolph Valentino, Ramon Novarro, and John Gilbert – or fellow Pre-Code era antiheroes Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney – Cortez had a long and, to some extent, prestigious film career, appearing in nearly 100 movies between 1923 and 1950. Among his directors were “Father of American Cinema” D.W. Griffith and Paramount's star filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, in addition to eventual Oscar winners and nominees Frank Lloyd, Herbert Brenon, Gregory La Cava, William A. Wellman, Frank Capra, Walter Lang, Michael Curtiz, John Ford, […]


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'Latin Lover' - The 2nd Valentino & 1st (and Best) Sam Spade: Q&A with Ricardo Cortez Biographer Dan Van Neste



Ricardo Cortez: Remembering the 'Latin Lover Threat' to Rudolph Valentino & Star of Original 'The Maltese Falcon'

Ricardo Cortez biography The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez. Dan Van Neste's book covers the life and career of Paramount's “Latin Lover” threat to a recalcitrant Rudolph Valentino; one who would later portray a sly, seductive Sam Spade in the original – and highly enjoyable – film adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. 'The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez': Author Dan Van Neste remembers the silent era's 'Latin Lover' & the star of the original 'The Maltese Falcon' At odds with Famous Players-Lasky after the release of the 1922 critical and box office misfire The Young Rajah, Rudolph Valentino demands a fatter weekly paycheck and more control over his movie projects. […]


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Ricardo Cortez: Remembering the 'Latin Lover Threat' to Rudolph Valentino & Star of Original 'The Maltese Falcon'