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Valentino (1977)

Rudolf Nureyev , Leslie Caron , Ken Russell  |  R |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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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: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003B3NV8Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,042 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Valentino" on IMDb

Special Features


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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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cinematic fantasy that provokes and enthralls 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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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Valentino by Ken Russell is good bio viewing! April 26, 2010
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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36 of 46 people found the following review helpful
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
4.0 out of 5 stars High Camp...That Works 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Valentino was a Great Actor and his Movie is well done and recall seeing it when it came out back in the day
Published 1 hour ago by Westie
2.0 out of 5 stars Caron and Rudy have their moments...Camp Followers!!
Ken Russell has always been the Director of the bizarre, but he always creates fascinating bad films. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Charles Reichenthal
5.0 out of 5 stars MEET THE SHEIK!
VALENTINO---This is a sexy film, as the star himself was the fantasy of most women who were still able to draw a breath ( and a lot of men wanted him too). Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lois Graham
Perhaps Ken Russell's experience as a ballet dancer with a troupe in Norway enhanced his feelings about ways to illuminate homophobia of the 1920s in this semi-fictional account of... Read more
Published on December 11, 2011 by Robin Simmons
3.0 out of 5 stars buny-in-the-headlights
no, the acting isn't great; and yes, the story could have been fleshed out a bit more but i think that what you get is a fairly accurate portrayal of an iconic personality in film... Read more
Published on September 8, 2011 by buny-in-the-headlights
4.0 out of 5 stars Valentino
The movie is a bit hard to follow, starting as it does with the sad ending, then flashing back through Valentino's brief but amazing career. Read more
Published on April 30, 2011 by None of your business
3.0 out of 5 stars Nuryev, nuff said!
Never got to see him speak, but what a gorgeous talented dancer (tho nothing compared to Barishnikov) and have no clue what really happened to the poor guy but was fascinated with... Read more
Published on January 28, 2011 by DoMeNiQuE CoE
1.0 out of 5 stars An overblown stinker of a movie
Dear God, was this a disappointment! My friends and I knew this would be campy, and a good movie to watch together. What we didn't know was how confusing it would be. Read more
Published on November 29, 2010 by Peter J. Collins
3.0 out of 5 stars Ken Russell in Hollywood
What a shame Hollywood chopped the classic to bits! Still, there are some lovely Russell moments. A must for Ken Rusell lovers--it will have to suffice until an uncut print can be... Read more
Published on November 16, 2010 by K. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars "Oh, you can't be serious..."
There are two ways to approach a biopic.
There's the standard linier present-the-facts-
and-draw-your-own-conclusion approach. Read more
Published on October 22, 2010 by Erik Herrmann
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