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28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The world's most celebrated dancer, Rudolf Nureyev, portrays Rudolph Valentino, the silent screen's most renowned lover, in this flamboyant film fantasia that also features Leslie Caron and Michelle Phillips.

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Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Rudolf Nureyev, Leslie Caron, Michelle Phillips
  • Directors: Ken Russell
  • Writers: Written by KEN RUSSELL and MARDIK MARTIN
  • Producers: Produced by IRWIN WINKLER and ROBERT CHARTOFF
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2010
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003B3NV8Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,444 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Valentino" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By David E. Pouliot on April 26, 2010
Format: DVD
In Valentino, Ken Russell places his spin on silent Hollywood and its biggest icon of its period...Rudolph Valentino. The film captures the distruction of what happens when fame over powers hollywood and the changes it has on actors. As well as the Directors and Producers who saw Valentino's death as a bottom line loss to potential financial wealth in future films. Rudolph Nureyev's dancing talents are stong, but he lacks screen drama and presence; however, playing the role fit his style as silent movies didn't carry the actors voice.

There are tense moments with 'Mama' Michelle Phillips (32 at the time filmed) that captures her and Nureyev completely naked in a 'tongue and Sheik' love scene (truly enjoyable for Phillips fans). The movie has an artistic flair as the costumes and era are captured nicely with the setting and props for the time. There are odd moments of celebrity spot-lighting as in the grand entrance by Leslie Caron into the funeral parlor and a sequence at the producers home and choice of having a baby gorilla in the office.

Overall, I think this film captures the rise and fall of Valentino and his untimely death and the women in his life that knew of his character. Many believe he was a homosexual and maintained lavender much could be said for Rudolf Nureyev himself (who died of AIDS in 1993).
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Austin Elliott on October 14, 1999
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Ken Russell's "Valentino" was released in 1977 to the condemnation of most of the critical populace as well as the Catholic Church.Most of this disapproval was due to an ignorance of Ken Russell's artistic method,his intentions,and the extreme nature of some of his work.Over twenty years later with baroque directors more common and sexual and violent imagery less outre, "Valentino" deseves to be recognized as the undeniably flawed yet vital work of art that it is. Influenced by "Citizen Kane",Valentino's narrative is presented in a series of flashbacks by the people who admired,pitied,despised and loved the silent screen superstar.Ken Russell weaves tragedy and satire together to criticize the absurdities and nightmares engendered by the pursuit of the American Dream.The film dissects the obverse and reverse of stardom with its mindless and volatile adulation on one side and jealous hatred and contempt on the other."Valentino" also depicts the ethnocentism and homophobia of the 1920's-and by implication,as in most of Ken Russell's films,depicts ours as well.The film's tone is mercurial and constantly challenges you to think about what is being depicted as you are affected by its power.It enthralls as it provokes. Yet the film is not without its flaws.Rudolph Nureyev in his first acting role displays charm,grace and sex appeal-but he is sometimes stiff and lacks emotional depth.The great actress Alla Nazimova is savaged (in a very funny performance by Leslie Caron)as a pretentious and vain phony.Natasha Rambova(a very beautiful Michelle Phillips)is depicted as a shrill,grasping shrew.Read more ›
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39 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I am not gonna talk about "Valentino"'s cinematic merits or Ken Russell's ones, for that matter. Previous reviewer has done a pretty good job on that. I'll just say that I own this movie and I watch it every so often. I enjoy it, because it is full of satirical images and it DOES take me back to the Hollywood of 20's. Of course, people should not consider it a real biographical movie about RV, but rather a huge satire with terrific costumes and wonderful cast. I must say that the film looses its edge half away thru; in the beginning you are taken by it, then it becomes more of a toy for Ken Russell himself. As for Nureyev's playing Valentino, I think that was THE INGENIOUS PART OF RUSSELL'S PLAN. Yes, it was Nureyev's first role in cinema (first and the only one, buy the way). Yes, he seems stiff at times, but I believe this was part of the idea: to "ham" it up a little in order to heighten the effects of constructed set (Hollywood of 20's). Anyone who saw Nureyev on stage/in ballet/ should have no doubts about his actor skills; he did not simply dance, he ACTED. Besides, for anyone who saw movies with Rudolpho Valentino (well, I did), com'on, how much "ham" is that, especially from today's perspective?.. NOW, think about it, Valentino and Nureyev: they had the same name, they were both dancers, they were both immigrants (suffering from not ever seeing their mothers again), they were both gay, they were both surepstars, etc. I think the similarities are uncanny! Russell took full advantage of them, by constucting a surrealistic plot, where you are not always sure whether you are watching Nureyev as Valentino, Nureyev as Nureyev, or even Valentino as Nureyev.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David E.Baldwin on October 16, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The jury is out on whether or not Ken Russell was a good director but most certainly he is an interesting one. In the Mid-Seventies there were a series of film bios about figures from Hollywood's Golden Age, notably "Gable and Lombard" and "W.C. Fields and Me" to name a few. These were for the most part earnest affairs that mostly took a straightforward approach to their subjects. Russell here takes an opposite tack by sending up the genre. For better or for worse "Valentino" is sublimely surreal. Watching this film I found by jaw drop and in most cases that's not such a bad thing. What Russell is doing here is lampooning the Roaring Twenties which some would appreciate and others offend. What keeps me from giving the film the full five star treatment is the comically inept performance by Rudolph Nureyev as Valentino. Intentional, perhaps? Struggling with what I think is an Italian accent, Nureyev doesn't seem to be in on the joke or maybe he doesn't comprehend. Regardless, I give kudos to Russell for some of his casting choices. You can't go wrong with a film that includes among it's cast Huntz Hall (The Bowery Boys) as Jesse Lasky, John Ratzenberger(Cliff Claven from "Cheers") as a reporter and Billy McKinney ("Deliverance") as a sadistic jailer. On a final note of trivia, Carol Kane who is in this film, also appeared in another film in 1977 that featured Valentino albeit in abbreviated form, Gene Wilder's underrated comic gem "The World's Greatest Lover".
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