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:

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


"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!