Review: ‘Valentino’

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.

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.

Valentino

Production

Small/Columbia. Director Lewis Allen; Producer Edward Small; Screenplay George Bruce; Camera Harry Stradling; Editor Daniel Mandell; Music Heinz Roemheld

Crew

(Color) Extract of a review from 1951. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Anthony Dexter Eleanor Parker Richard Carlson Particia Medina Joseph Calleia Lloyd Gough
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