QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2004-11 > 1100357844
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2004 09:57:24 EST
Saturday, November 13, 2004
THE SHEIK DAY
(http://www.geocities.com/~rudyfan/ssheik-a.htm) That great romancer of the
silver screen, Rudolph Valentino, starred in The Sheik, which was released on
this day in 1921. The Sheik firmly established Valentino’s popular
reputation as the Great Lover, and his last film, the comical Son of the Sheik
(1926), sealed that title.
But the actor never thought of himself as a conqueror of women -- nor as a
great actor. He found the Sheik films rather silly. Rudy’s wife, Natacha
Rambova responded to her husband’s screen image: “My husband is a great lover of
home life.” However, the publication of Valentino’s volume of poetry, Day
Dreams (1923), further fueled the public’s imagination and drove fans into
bookstores with a vengeance.
Valentino had plans to make more serious films beginning with an ambitious
version of El Cid, to be called The Hooded Falcon. In town for the premiere of
Son of the Sheik, he collapsed in New York on August 15, 1926. Valentino
died eight days later from peritonitis -- before he could begin to work on films
that would make the public forget his sheikly shenanigans.
So the grandiose romantic persona persists, and we remember Rudolph
Valentino as the Great Lover, The Sheik.
Remember, too, these great films from Valentino:
The Conquering Power (1921), The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921),
Beyond the Rocks (1922), Blood and Sand (1922), The Young Rajah (1922), Monsieur
Beaucaire (1924), A Sainted Devil (1924), The Eagle (1925), Cobra (1925)