Friday, July 22, 2016

Valentino Memorial Service - 30 Day Countdown

It is 30 days until the 89th annual Valentino Memorial Service.  This historic, long-running event is the oldest annual event in Hollywood history.  This year will spotlight on the 90th anniversary of Rudolph Valentino's death.  Despite nine decades now past, the remembrance for this remarkable man never declines.  Over time, books, movies, fan magazines, Memorial Guilds, DVD's and TCM all related to Rudolph Valentino have all had a hand in keeping his memory not only alive, but burning brightly.

Now is your chance to be a part of the legacy. Please, join us at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on August 23, 2016 at 12:10pm admission and parking are free.

Our motto is, was, and continues to be: "We Never Forget"

Valentino Memorial Service - 30 Day Countdown

It is 30 days until the 89th annual Valentino Memorial Service.  This historic, long-running event is the oldest annual event in Hollywood history.  This year will spotlight on the 90th anniversary of Rudolph Valentino's death.  Despite nine decades now past, the remembrance for this remarkable man never declines.  Over time, books, movies, fan magazines, Memorial Guilds, DVD's and TCM all related to Rudolph Valentino have all had a hand in keeping his memory not only alive, but burning brightly.

Now is your chance to be a part of the legacy. Please, join us at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on August 23, 2016 at 12:10pm admission and parking are free.

Our motto is, was, and continues to be: "We Never Forget"

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Earliest Known Valentino Film Footage - "Patria" 1917 Serial

'Patria' a 1917 15 chapter serial featured Irene Castle and silent leading man Milton Sills.
Shot in and around New York Rudolph Valentino, was a 22 year old dancer at the time and worked as an extra.  Look at the below clip, in the exact middle and you'll see the earliest known footage of Rudolph Valentino




While the majority of the 15 chapters do not exist, the surviving footage along with some extra materials have been wonderfully packaged by the Serial Squadron and can be reached by this link  http://www.serialsquadron.com/dvds/silent/patria/

Friday, June 24, 2016

Valentino Cigarettes - "Cigarettes Arab Style"

Here is a rare advertisement for a pack of Valentino cigarettes from Spain. The back of the package states that they are "Cigarettes Arab style" here is a partial translation of the ad:

VALENTINO
The Best Cigarettes
In The World

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Summertime Rudy

As summer has arrived and we're feeling its presence, I thought it would be a refreshing idea to see Rudolph Valentino enjoying himself at the Santa Monica Pier and beach circa 1920  Even today crowds gather at this beach front to escape the summer heat.  Nothings changed in 96 years

Monday, June 13, 2016

Valentino Pomade

The image on the back of the pamphlet shows a jar of Valentino pomade.  I have yet to see a surviving jar of this surface. Just like the Mineralva bottles that have surfaced from time to time, I continue to hope one of these will do likewise.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Paramount Trade Ad for "Blood and Sand 1922

 
Here is a full page Paramount exhibitors ad to promote the 1922 Rudolph Valentino film "Blood and Sand"  Its a striking image with just a dash of usage of the color orange to bring your eyes to Valentino's image in the ad
 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Face of Aspiration Statue

We've all seen the 'Aspiration' statue that honors Rudolph Valentino in De Longpre Park in Hollywood.  However you don't see photos of the face of the statue.  The head which is tilted back with eyes closed as it soaks in the warmth of the sun.

Created by noted sculptor Roger Noble Burnham it was dedicated on Rudy's birthday May 6, 1930. Its been a Hollywood landmark ever since. However, in the mid 1950's the statue was victim of vandalism and was put in storage.  You will notice when the vandals knocked the statue off its pedestal that it caused the nose to be flattened.  That has never been fixed. 

It's nice that the statue is still there 86 years after it's dedication.




Tuesday, June 7, 2016

"Back In The Saddle Again"

No, its not Gene Autry  - who's signature song was "Back In The Saddle Again"  It's none other than our hero Rudolph Valentino who is sporting a dress shirt, wearing a pith helmet and sunglasses and smoking (of course!) as he rides his trusty steed and uses his rope to form a lasso.  This photo was most likely taken in the Palm Springs area around 1921 by Paul Ivano



Monday, June 6, 2016

Quick Call A Doctor ..... I Need Whiskey

During prohibition finding legitimate liquor was difficult.  Bootleg Whiskey was common.  However, there was a legit way to obtain real Whiskey.  How? you ask?  Simple - have your doctor prescribe it!   Yes, that was one of the ways that Rudolph Valentino got his whiskey.  Here is a prescription for Rudolph Valentino for whiskey dated May 22, 1926 and states to be delivered to the Beverly Hills Hotel.  A party?  Perhaps they were all sick and needed whiskey.  I would love to know what "illness" was ever cured by whiskey.  Those were the days, the roaring twenties!  The prescription has cancelled marked across it so perhaps the people at Valentino's party all got well without needing whiskey after all.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Rudy Plays Hand Ball At The Garden of Allah

The famous villa complex that once sat at the corner of Crescent Heights and Sunset Blvd was legendary within the movie colony.  However before a 1928 renovation - when all the extra bungalows were added, there was a large tennis court where one could play a variety of games including the photo here of a gloved Rudolph Valentino playing handball.

When I first obtained this candid image of Rudy, I was trying to place where it was taken.  Why did that background fencing look so familiar to me?  I had recently read the wonderful book on Alla Nazimova by Gavin Lambert.  I went back to the book and there it was, a 1920 photo that showed the court next to the pool.  Bingo!  Now I knew it was taken at the famed location.

Alla Nazimova cast Valentino as her leading man in 1921 version the classic story of Camille. Natacha Rambova received her first screen credit on this film however they mis-spelled her name as "Natasha"  While Nazimova's acting may appear over the top by todays standards, I found her fascinating as an actress.  I highly recommend the book 'Nazimova' by Gavin Lambert.





Rudy playing hand ball at The Garden of Allah - Circa 1921  Photo taken by Paul Ivano


Same fencing in this 1920 photo from Gavin Lambert's bio on Nazimova
 
 
 
Alla Nazimova
 
 
 
Nazimova & Valentino in 'Camille'  Metro Studios 1921

















Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mrs. William Cameron Menzies - Valentino's BLUE House

We all know of the legendary work of William Cameron Menzies.  He worked his genius on Rudolph Valentino's productions including Cobra but most importantly in The Eagle and Son of the Sheik.  Not to mention he created and designed the famous Valentino estate bookplate.

Here is a 1924 hand written tour guide of both Beverly Hills and Hollywood as written by Mrs. Menzies on her husband's stationary.  Its fascinating to see who's celebrity homes she selected, which included Valentino's (pre-Falcon Lair)

Who knew his Whitley Heights house was BLUE stucco?  You learn something new every day!


 
 
 
Valentino Book plate designed by William Cameron Menzies
after Valentino's death. Designed for his books to be sold at auction
 


The beautiful stunning set design on The Eagle was done by Menzies

 


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

VALENTINO PRESSKIT 1919


"The Delicious Little Devil" was a Universal film released in 1919.  It was the third film Rudy made at the studio and would go on to make two more.  It was the first film he made with his co star Mae Murray.  He would make one more with her called "Big Little Person"  A big "woops!" in the spelling of her first name on this title card.  Often quite rare is publicity material or often called campaign material on these early films. These were sent to the theatres to promote the film.  They'd put clips of quotes from the press kit in the local papers and order the available posters according to their need.  When a Valentino press kit from this era shows up its a rare day indeed.   Here for you is the complete press kit for the film.  It makes for a wonderful read, not to mention seeing all the posters available to promote the film!




 







 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mary MacLaren The Star Who Knew Rudy

Mary MacLaren was a star in many Universal films. One of her biggest hits was called "Shoes" and alas is now considered a lost film.  She also played the Queen in the Douglas Fairbanks silent film "The Three Musketeers"   Once sound came in, she fell into bit roles and uncredited parts.

While at Universal Mary MacLaren's dressing room was next door to Rudolph Valentino's. Valentino made five 'pre-star' films at Universal.  This simple fact of side-by-side dressing rooms became her calling card for attending the Valentino Memorial Service.  She  was a guest speaker for 17 consecutive years, a record that still stands today.  She held the audience in rapture year after year telling glowing stories of Rudy.
She passed away in 1985 at the age of 89 and is buried at Forest Lawn in Glendale.

Actress Mary MacLaren
 
 
Glass slide of Universal film of which she was the star
 
 
 
Mary addresses the Valentino Memorial Service
 
 
Speaker Rudy Vallee gives Mary a hug at the
1984 Valentino Memorial Service. This was her
last appearance there.
 
 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

1700 Lexington Road

We've all seen the wonderful photos of Rudy frolicking at the pool of Marion Davies home at 1700 Lexington Road in Beverly Hills.  Rudy with a line up of fellow celebrities, and one of him hugging Louella Parsons.

Here is a clipping of a photo I recently ran across in a vintage scrapbook.  Its a photo taken at the same setting as all the rest, but this shot I have never seen before.  Left to right:  Charlie Chaplin, Louella Parsons, Larry Gray, Harry Martin, Marion Davies, Beltran Masses and Rudolph Valentino




Saturday, May 28, 2016

Friend of Dorothy

Don't you wish your name was Dorothy and you were at the theater one night alone, and suddenly unexpected the theater usher taps you gently on the shoulder, hands you this card and bows as he backs away.  Ahhh.... the allure of Rudolph Valentino doesn't fade with age.


"My dear Dorothy,
Could you come with me to the Montmartre for a little supper and few dances? 
 If so let me know by bearer and I will wait at the stage door.
Sincerely 
Rodolph"


 








Friday, May 27, 2016

Rudolph Valentino Auditions for Role in Broken Blossoms

This rare Valentino image was scanned from a vintage hand tinted photograph. I would say this photograph was taken when he was hoping to land the male lead opposite Lillian Gish in the 1919 film "Broken Blossoms"   

Unfortunately for Valentino the role went to actor Richard Barthelmess.  While Valentino never got to star opposite Lillian Gish, he did get the opportunity to work with her sister Dorothy Gish in "Nobody Home" that same year.






Lillian Gish & Richard Barthelmess 
in "Broken Blossoms"  1919

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Valentino Estate Items #6 Luther H. Mahoney

Valentino Estate Items are quite rare and often go for a pretty penny at auction.  This one is listed as #6 for if you scroll back you will see each time I post an Estate item, I number it so you will know what to search for.  This is from my collection.

This beautiful purple leather bound edition is the complete works of Shakespeare in miniature. Each volume contained within the purple leather bound casing is about the size of a deck of cards. 

Faithful worker for Valentino, Luther H. Mahoney acquired this set after Rudolph Valentino's death. Sadly, Mahoney has been badly maligned in a recent book but I am glad to see his descendants stepping forward and taking an active part in sweeping the fiction away from Luther's legacy.  No evidence to date has been presented to authenticate the fictional dialogue attributed to Luther Mahoney (used as quotes in the book!) nor that he stole anything from the safe of Rudolph Valentino.  He was an honest family man whom Valentino trusted above all others.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

J. Edgar Hoover to George Ullman - Thanks But No Thanks

Here is an interesting letter from J. Edgar Hoover the legendary director & founder of the FBI   Apparently Valentino's former manager S. George Ullman made some type of pitch which Mr. Hoover politely turned down.  Do you think maybe he was trying to get Hoover to find the missing Valentino court documents? 





Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Maria Gabriella Barbin Guglielmi - To Rudy In 1908 "Oppertunity To Go To America"

Here is a hand written letter from Rudolph Valentino's mother to him while he was away at school and just 13 years old.  The letter is dated January 15, 1908.  The translation was done professionally.

In her encouragement for him to apply himself to his studies she opens the possibility that one day he would perhaps get the "opportunity to go to America on a nice steamboat"

Yes, you read that correct.  Even as early as 13 years old his mother was planting the seed of America and the land of opportunity.

There is a book out that would lead you to believe that in 1913 at 18 years of age, he was surrounded by aunts and uncle's wagging their finger at him saying that he brought shame to the family and they all decided to send him to America in exile.

That "family gathering" and finger "wagging" was all made up!  Here's the proof  that as early as 13 years old his mother Maria Gabriella Barbin Guglielmi herself was suggesting going to America as a golden opportunity for her young son.  The trip didn't come to fruition until December of 1913 but now the truth is out that there was no dark cloud of shame upon him when he came to America.


 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Complete Valentino Estate Catalog

This is the complete Valentino Estate Catalog.  This represents the first auction that would be held.  Later another auction was done more quietly in San Francisco.  Also, almost none of the contents of Valentino's Whitley Heights home were included in this auction and were disposed of in an unknown fashion.











































 



















 







  








































------------------------- The End -----------------------