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Ken Russell directs this biographical drama starring Rudolf Nureyev as Italian-American actor Rudolph Valentino. The film begins at the 31-year-old actor's funeral in 1926 in New York and, using flashbacks, backtracks to his glory days when the former ballroom dancer used his good looks and charm to mould a successful silent movie career and become one of the first male screen idols in Hollywood.
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Top Customer Reviews
The weakness (and it is a serious one)is the screenplay, which is episodic and with stilted dialogue. Too many of the lines are merely facts designed presumably to provide the audience of the time with historical background. But taken as a whole however this is a very good movie which offers very beautiful settings, terrific costumes and, in Nureyev's performance, a record of an extraordinary artist.
Russell's greatest movie? No, that's "Billion Dollar Brain", of course!
Lacking some of the more outrageous flourishes of sexual and violent depravities that marred/enabled (depending on your point of view) many other of Russell's flicks, this is still certificate 18 with some moderately explicit nudity.
The locations are inspired (the desert filming scene is superbly done), such as the Russell Coates Museum in Bournemouth and the dancing and set pieces dazzling and amazing. However, somehow the film doesn't gel as a whole and working out why is near impossible.
Some say that the casting of the Russian ballet icon, Rudolf Nureyev as Valentino to be a major fault, but I disagree. Sure, he's stilted and with the wrong accent, but he absolutely looks the part and with that immensely athletic body of his, well....and the dancing is as you'd expect. As the dashing sheik in the desert, just mentioned, he looks uncannily like the real thing.
Maybe that the film covers a lot of ground and at a full 2 hours, there's a lot of visual information. Sometimes it feels that there isn't the narrative clarity to support all that and we don't always know what is going on. Or, at least I didn't.
The late, great Ken has produced a fine film but one that ultimately doesn't quite work.
Nureyev dances magnificently but - as he acknowledged himself and did Ken Russell towards the end of his life.
Nureyev is no actor on the cinema screen and just doesn't convince - although his charisma remains intact and it is fascinating to see him "up close',
The format of the film is a little clunky too -and the cameos of the famous when combined with Russell's over the top direction often jar. That said it does hold your interest until then end and is quite enjoyable. The audio and video transfers are both very good.
There are memorable parts - a ladies group camps outside the Valentino's house and recite poetry in chorus: Valentino's interaction with the various machismo men in his career, culminating with his bedding of a co-star to allay the rumours that caused them to drop a powder-puff on him during filming.
Not great, but interesting.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
VALENTINO [1977 / 2016] [Limited Edition Dual Format] [Blu-ray + DVD] Rudolf Nureyev is Rudolf Valentino! A Film by Ken Russell! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Ordered this from the states as I wanted this edition with the extras. The 89min talk with Russell is a wonderful extra audio track. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Troy F.
An indifferent film made fabulous by starring the young Rudolf Nureyev. I understand he did not enjoy making the film - but you would not have known. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jenny G
Wonderful so over the top what a dancer really enjoyed it v good quality also one to keep xPublished 14 months ago by Val