The Valentino Mystique

The Death and Afterlife of the Silent Film Idol

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About the Book

The circumstances surrounding the death of legendary star Rudolph Valentino have been a constant source of fascination for admirers worldwide. This work examines every aspect of his passing, analyzing the circumstances and gathering information into one convenient source for the Valentino scholar and enthusiast.
The first part examines every moment of the last days of Rudolph Valentino, his illness and operation, the reactions of such intimates as Pola Negri, and all controversy such as riots, suicides, and fights over his funeral and estate. Part two gives tours of Valentino-related sites in New York, Hollywood and West Hollywood, downtown and suburban Los Angeles, and Beverly Hills, explaining each site’s part in Valentino’s history, giving quotes from the star and his associates about the place, and describing its present state. Part three consists of eleven appendices giving such information as the infamous “Pink Powder Puff” editorial and Valentino’s responses, the medical diagnosis, operation on and treatment of the idol, tributes and eulogies, the list of mourners attending his funerals, his last will and testament, the summation of his estate, quotes about his death, references from newspapers, and a complete filmography.

About the Author(s)

Allan R. Ellenberger is the author of numerous books about the cinema. He has written for such publications as Classic Images and Films of the Golden Age. He lives in Hollywood, California.

Bibliographic Details

Allan R. Ellenberger
Foreword by Edoardo Ballerini
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 300
Bibliographic Info: photos, filmography, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1950-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8341-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Foreword by Edoardo Ballerini      1

Preface      3

Part One. The Last Days of Rudolph Valentino

Introduction      7

1. “Pink Powder Puffs”      9

2. The Boxer, the Sage and the Accidental Fiancée      19

3. Mending Fences      29

4. “Doctor, Am I a Pink Puff?”      36

5. Final Days      43

6. Monday, August 23, 1926      51

7. Ballyhoo      61

8. The Fight for Rudy’s Body      70

9. Requiem in New York      81

10. The Journey West      90

Part Two. Homes, Hangouts and Other Places of Interest:

Tours of Valentino-Related Sites

Tour Introduction      105

1. New York City      106

2. Hollywood      121

3. West Hollywood      135

4. Beverly Hills      138

5. Downtown Los Angeles      142

6. Suburban Los Angeles and Environs      145

Part Three. Appendices

1. The “Pink Powder Puffs” Editorial and Valentino’s Responses      153

2. The Medical Diagnosis, Operation and Treatment      156

3. Tributes and Eulogies      158

4. Mourners Attending the Funerals in New York and Beverly Hills      173

5. The Last Will and Testament      177

6. The Estate      180

7. Los Angeles Times and New York Times References      187

8. Periodical Articles      205

9. Books      216

10. Film Biographies and Stage Productions      219

11. Quotations about Valentino      230

The Complete Filmography of Rudolph Valentino      235

Notes      263

Bibliography      275

Index      279

Book Reviews & Awards

“quite moving…to be applauded…excellent…a resource to be used and treasured…a great deal of rich material…can recommend, without reservation, that this is a book that needs to be on the shelf of every Valentino fan”—Rudolph Valentino Newsletter; “meticulously researched…great detail”—Alternative Film Guide.