Thursday, April 28, 2016

Delicious Little Devil 1923 Re-Issue - Theatre Lobby

Here is a great photo of a theatre lobby featuring the 1923 re-issue of the Mae Murray and Rudolph Valentino movie made at Universal "The Delicious Little Devil" 1919  Even though the film is a re-issue, look at the magnificent detail in the lobby decour.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rudy Vallee @ The Valentino Memorial Service 1984

Radio superstar crooner the legendary Rudy Vallee attended the Valentino Memorial from the early 1980's through his last appearance in 1985.  He died just a month prior to the 1986 Valentino Memorial, however his widow came and was honored in his memory.

One of the big errors in publications and thus, in turn all over the internet is that Rudy Vallee sang the 1926 Valentino tribute song "There's A New Star In Heaven To-Night".   He never sang or recorded the song.

However he was fond of Rudolph Valentino although it's doubtful he ever met Valentino.

Here is a photograph of Rudy Vallee addressing the Valentino Memorial in 1984

Friday, April 15, 2016

FREE "Valentino As I Knew Him" FREE

Here is your chance to read for FREE the entire book by S. George Ullman called Valentino As I Knew Him.  Apparently the Internet Archive has put the entire book up for public reading.  Just click on the link below and it will take you right to the book.  Using your cursor just click on the page to turn the page.  Its that simple and you cant beat FREE.

"Valentino As I Knew Him"  provided courtesy of

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cafe Montmarte - Places Valentino Went That Are Still In Existance

Sadly, in Los Angeles there aren't a lot of buildings that Rudy ever walked into that are still in existence.  Some of the hotels (Biltmore and Alexandra) are still standing.  Sadly, both of his homes have been knocked down. However there is a building right in the heart of Hollywood where Rudolph Valentino among other stars danced and partied the nights away.

Café Montmartre opened in January of 1923 at 6763 Hollywood Blvd.  It had a bank on the ground floor and the upper floor, only accessible by a flight of stairs .  It became THE nightspot to see and be seen.   Screenwriter Frederica Maas wrote that it was "a rendezvous spot for anyone who was anyone, or even aspired to be anyone"

So next time you're walking down Hollywood Blvd take pleasure in knowing that Rudolph Valentino used to walk down the same boulevard to get to the Café Montmartre.

Pictured is a vintage photo and one of how it looks today, 93 years later.  Valentino history!

Café Montmarte circa 1923

Vintage Newspaper Ad
Café Montmarte today at 6763 Hollywood Blvd
Aside from the awnings, the building has not changed in 93 years

Wrought Iron gates that lead to stairway entrance

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Mineralava Sadness

When one sees the vintage newsreels of the Madison Square Garden finale event of the Rudolph Valentino Mineralava Beauty Contest, it is usually filled with smiles and pretty girls.

The fantastic unprecedented tour where at each stop Valentino would present a silver cup trophy to the lucky winners in the dancing contest and a pair of cloth dolls depicting him and his wife Natacha Rambova, to the beauty selected at each stop.  Sometimes depending on reasons unknown, the beauty selected would get a cup rather than the dolls.

Thus, at the Mineralava stop in Chicago Rudolph Valentino selected 18 year old Angelita Cuccinello as the most beautiful.  She was presented with a silver cup trophy and her selection assured her of a place at Madison Square Garden to compete for the crown.

She did go on to the Maddison Sq. Garden event but did not win and returned to her city of Chicago where she resided.  Somewhere over the following summer she fell ill and it took a while to recoup her strength.  She befriended an older lady Mrs. McGarity who was blind and would read to her in her spare time.

As Christmas time 1924 drew near, on a cold and icy day in Chicago, Angelita put a lovely Christmas card in the corner mail box addressed to Mrs. McGarity.  After depositing the letter she stepped out into the icy street to get to the center isle where the streetcars picked up and deposited passengers.   A large truck was skidding on the ice and had lost control and ran over poor Angelita before she could get out of its path.  She did not recover.

A few days later Mrs. McGarity called to thank her for the card and received the horrible news. 

Here is an article that will break your heart.  Below that is Angelita Cuccinello's silver cup trophy that Valentino presented to her just a year earlier.

Mineralava sadness.




Mineralava product - the beauty clay and face finish.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Rudolph Valentino Check "MYSELF ONLY"

Here is a check for $100 that Rudolph Valentino cashed on September 21, 1925.  He had recently completed shooting the film "The Eagle" and in fact the premiere would be just two weeks away from the date of this check.  This is the type of check you would get if you went into a bank asking for a withdraw.  In those days they'd have you sign a check such as this rather than using your own personal check stock.  Sadly Rudy would only have 11 months to live.  The motto of the Valentino Memorial Service is  "We Never Forget" and this year marks the 90th anniversary of his passing.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Valentino As I Knew Him

"Valentino As I Knew Him"

I always thought that this was a wonderful title for S. George Ullman's book.  This book which carries Ullman's name as author, was actually ghost-written by publicity people.  Valentino was buried on September 7, 1926 and the first edition of this book was released the next month in October 1926.  I am sure Ullman wrote down some of the events and experiences he shared with Rudolph Valentino and the ghost writer put in into book format, flushing out the stories with praise for Valentino on almost every page.  The public ate it up and the book was quite popular. Even to this day it often referenced as a 'favorite' when fans share a list of Valentino books they enjoy the most.

George Ullman wasn't above stealing a wee bit of the limelight for himself.  On page 120 he openly boasts that it was he who was instructed to have the legendary platinum slave bracelet created.  When in truth it was Valentino's head of household man, Luther H. Mahoney who took Rambova's design to the jewelers.  Mahoney left audio tape of this story in which he mentions Tiffany's and the street it was on.   Actually it was Brock's Jewelers and they were called the Tiffany's of the west coast.   So, no Ullman didn't have a thing to do with the slave bracelet creation.

Obviously written in haste - when you have a book come out a month after the person dies, errors will abound.  Valentino As I Knew Him suffered slightly from this, as one of the pictures in the book showing the Whitley Heights home is captioned as being Falcon Lair.  Of course George Ullman knew the difference, it was just an oversight that the proof-readers overlooked because they were not knowledgeable about names of Valentino's homes. It just gives more proof that Ullman was absent during the books creation.

George Ullman's book coming out a month after Valentino's burial appeared to be in a race as he probably heard that Rambova was penning her own book, which she was.  Rambovas book came out in December of 1926 so he beat her by two months.

The book Valentino As I Knew Him is an easy, fun read.  Stories are told and everything, glorification aside, sounds sincere.  One of my favorite passages was when Ullman, describing Rambova, stated something to the effect of how puzzled he was that Rambova remained oblivious and unaffected to the charms of Rudy that were so easily seen by others.

Here is a first edition of the book.

First Edition
Whitley Heights home listed in error as Falcon Lair
S. George Ullman news photo

Friday, April 8, 2016

Cobra 1925 Rare Lobby Cards & Insert Card

Publicity materials for the Rudolph Valentino film "Cobra" are very rare and exceedingly expensive if you do find them.   Here is an insert card which was 14" X 36"  for the 1925 film that recently surfaced.  Sadly, it apparently was stored where it came into contact with some type of damaging oil or liquid.  It needs heavy restoration but it's a rare Valentino piece indeed.

Also shown are the half shet and lobby cards for the film.  All rare!


Half Sheet for Cobra  22 x  28"

7 of the 8 Lobby Cards 11 x 14" 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Check Please! or Jean Acker Cashes In

Jean Acker gleefully and for self gain, not to mention publicity for her faded career, raked Valentino's name and reputation through the mud in an sensational divorce trial in which she often committed perjury regarding her relationship and dealings with the now famous Rudolph Valentino.  She filed for divorce on January 17, 1921 and the divorce was finally granted on March 4, 1922   Here is a check issued to her that was prior to the start of the payment program in the settlement agreement.  Valentino would later borrow the full amount to get this monkey off his back, and be done with her so he could link up with Natacha Rambova.  Sadly, history would show that the Rambova alliance would fare no better.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Valentino Forum - August 30, 1977

Here is a flyer from the original Lady In Black's files.  Called "California Town Meetings' they hosted a buffet lunch and after had a themed topic along with related guests.  This one was dated November 30, 1977 and Rudolph Valentino was the topic.

What is interesting is it touts the (then) new Ken Russell "Valentino" film as sizzling.  It talks of noted journalist May Mann; known because of her writings on Elvis, that she was now penning an sensational book on Valentino (this never came to pass)

Then onward it touts Ditra Flame' the original Lady in Black.  On August 23rd of this same year Ditra had triumphantly returned to the Valentino Memorial for what would become her last time, dressed once again as the Lady in Black.

Then they have Juan Romero - the first person to buy and occupy Falcon Lair after Rudy's death.  (The first person never occupied the house)  Interesting the flyer says he was a look alike and used by the studio to finish the studios incomplete film.  As we all know, Son of the Sheik was fully completed and in fact it was on the premiere tour of this film that Rudy fell ill when in New York.  Also - if you check photos in my prior posting on Juan Romero, I think you'd agree he certainly is not a "look alike" for Valentino.  Wishful thinking?  Perhaps.

The final entry shows that Alberto Valentino as late as November 1977 was willing to attend public Valentino events.  I am sure he was asked many questions about Rudolph Valentino and the estate battles after his brothers passing.  

One Valentino person I see was not invited to the Valentino forum;  that being S. George Ullman.  Perhaps he was busy that day.

I would have loved to be in attendance hearing these people and what they had to say.  The cost of attending, including lunch?   $4.50

Monday, April 4, 2016

Valentino Estate Items #5 Solid Silver Demi-Tasse Cup & Saucer

Here is a stunning piece from my Valentino collection.  It's a solid silver Demi-Tasse cup and saucer with an Ivory handle.  The catalog says it was an antique in 1926 so its quite old.
Truly a stunning example of the exquisite taste Rudolph Valentino had.

This is listed in the Valentino Estate Catalog as #383 and states it was Mr. Valentino's personal set.  Sadly this is missing the small silver spoon with Ivory handle as mentioned in the estate catalog. It has somehow gotten lost through the years.  I have had people actually ask to drink out of it. 

Scan of its listing in the Valentino Estate Catalog

Friday, April 1, 2016

Rudolph Valentino Goes To Church

In the August 1975 edition of the spiritual monthly magazine "Guidepost" an article written by a co-star of Rudolph Valentino appeared.  Written by Dagmar Godowsky, his female co-star of the 1924 film "A Sainted Devil" wrote of her witnessing a deep religious faith in Valentino.  I will let the story speak for itself.

The magazine "Guidepost" was founded in 1945 and is still being published today.  Here now, is an eye witness account in an article that has probably never been read by any of those who have written about Rudolph Valentino or his faith.