Valentino is a full-blown romantic drama that makes little pretense of accurately biographing the screen star’s life, but has the gimmick of his name and likeness. Anthony Dexter bears a remarkably true resemblance to the man he impersonates.
Director Lewis Allen gets the story underway with a meeting between Dexter and Eleanor Parker on board ship enroute to New York from Naples. Parker is a film star traveling incognito and Dexter is a member of a dance troupe headed by Donna Drake.
Stranded in the big city, Dexter has a period of dishwashing and gigoloing before he again finds Parker and, through her and a director (Richard Carlson) gets his first taste of film work. Plot again contrives to separate Dexter and Parker, he goes to Hollywood and works as an extra until successfully crashing a party and winning the gaucho role in Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a part that skyrocketed Valentino to fame in real life.
Story recreates scenes from a number of Valentino’s subsequent successes, such as The Sainted Devil, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and others, although they are not presented in real-life sequence.
Parker brings to her star role a quiet warmth and quality that helps to make Dexter look better than he actually is.