Valentino - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Valentino Reviews

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½ February 6, 2018
I think Ken Russell was a bit too hard on himself here. It's not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination but it does lose steam by the last hour and ends abruptly. I have a feeling that Russell's frustration (besides the money and hollywood's expectations) with this one was in part because he was remaking Citizen Kane about celebrated classic Rudolph Valentino and .... I mean those are two extremely high bars. And he definitely doesn't come close to either, unfortunately. But so what.

Valentino strongly succeeds in its casting. Rudolf Nureyev is really perfectly cast as Rudolph. What he lacks in subtleties of acting he makes up in beautiful and nuanced movement - the naked sheik scenes are so beautifully orchestrated, a shifting tableau of beauty that hammers home the (well deserved) sex-symbol message in the most in-your-face but chaste way. Then there's all of the women - Leslie Caron, Michelle Phillips, Felicity Kendal, even Carol Kane - who all hit it out of the park and leave deep impressions of who they were and how they figured into his life. A feat thats certainly impressive when it's happening in somebody else's biopic - usually all of the side characters feel more like cameos than living and breathing figureheads in the person's life.

The movie lacks in its pacing. It gets lost in Natacha Rambova for a little too long, and it lingers too long in the boxing ring. But there's still burning moments of Ken Russell Brilliance(TM) - including the flower veil at the funeral, the sheik moments, the powder puff singers, ballroom dancers around the boxing ring and the hordes of women scenes. A lesser Ken Russell for sure, but that's still high praise in my opinion.
February 22, 2016
A Ken Russell film.
For some those words alone are enough to make a viewer switch off ,but for me even flawed films by Ken still have plenty of interest.
His take on the rise and death of Rudolph Valentino was apparently not a good time for him and he would later disown the film as a studio tampered compromise.
Despite this the film is actually pretty good even if Rudolf Nureyev is not the greatest actor in the world.
The film charts the rise of Valentio form ball room pretty boy to the biggest silent film star in the world .
He leaves a trail of broken hearts behind him and even breaks some noses as he challenges a blowhard journalist to a boxing duel in the latter parts of the film
Of course this being Ken Russell everything is amped up including the acting by some of the cast ,but I guess that is because Russell wants to show pre sound Hollywood in all its horrible splendour.

As I said the film isn't perfect the central casting of Nureyev was a risky gamble which doesn't pay off on the whole but if you can swallow the directors flights of fancy the film isn't half bad.
July 26, 2015
Valentino is a disappointing film. It is about the tragic and untimely death of a silent screen actor, Rudolph Valentino, in 1926. Rudolf Nureyev and Leslie Caron give terrible performances. The screenplay is badly written. Ken Russell did a horrible job directing this motion picture.
½ June 30, 2015
Overly dramatized production.
½ June 23, 2015
This is one of the worst biopics. Mixing fiction, fact, and legend it fails. The acting is some of the worst I've ever seen in a film. Its overacted and extremely full of Hollywood cliches. The story is poorly written along with the script.
June 21, 2015
another in a bunch of bio-pics about the legendary silent film star
½ June 28, 2014
This movie will be enjoyed by Ken Russell fans only. However, despite the slow pace and over-the-top theatrics -- the film has some pop-culturally significant moments. The now iconic Rudolf Nureyev is captured in all of his beauty and glory. And, it is interesting to see Leslie Caron as Nazimova. Peter Suschitzky served as cinematographer and he does some great early work here. However, by the time this long film comes to its end, you are likely to feel more than a bit cheated of the over two hours the film stole from your life.
June 1, 2014
Far from Russell's best, but some inspired moments of madness. The jail scene is classic Russell. Nureyev couldn't act, but he sure could dance. Worth a watch for fans.
March 11, 2014
Watchable only for Nureyev.
½ September 7, 2011
An outrageous film bio that suffers from the main cast members' mediocre to poor performances.
July 31, 2011
When he made this film, Ken Russel still had his weird, colorful touch. But extreme weirdness in Hollywood may be a form of realism, so there might be more truth than it seems here. And the choice of Nureyev is interesting, Valentino was a dancer before becoming an actor.
June 16, 2011
cool bio-pic on a great star whose light has faded today.
March 3, 2011
One of the best directions in a movie I have seen so far....this movie got my attention only for its direction and superb acting of the lead character characterizing the legendary mute actor Rudolph Valentino..his early life..fame..tragic death and after death chaos..nicely putted....very well made movie that seemed to me.
½ January 30, 2011
It is pretty good movie except all the ham acting. It contains one of the most disturbing nude sex scenes ever along with Lady Frankenstein.
June 27, 2010
this is one of the worst movies ever! It skips a lot of his life. More of this is probably fiction than fact! The script is corny as hell! It's a must-see for the badness of it!
½ November 3, 2009
Ken Russell's highly-fictionalized biopic is far from his best (even Russell himself considered it a failure), but it's an extremely entertaining mess of a movie. As the silver screen icon, Rudolf Nureyev is not the greatest actor, but he brings an offbeat energy to the role that allows him to keep up with the over-the-top supporting cast. The plot is muddled and awkwardly paced - but with lavish and imaginative production design, and plenty of memorably bizarre set pieces, those who appreciate Russell's excessive eccentricities will find this a very satisfying effort.
October 27, 2009
Watched this on TMC last night, entertaining and I would watch it again. This covers pretty raunchy though lol
½ August 30, 2009
A disappointing biopic of the legendary silent movie star, Rudolph Valentino. It's not revealing much and instead of focusing on his interesting life and death, this movie centers more on the dull side.
July 10, 2009
For all its ambition, debauched theatricity and vision, Valentino is not a compelling film. Russell goes overboard in exaggerating the characters into grotesque caricatures (although this is a technique he always uses, and in most of his films it is effective). Here though, he forgets to create truly interesting situations, or a gripping mood. The plot rambles, the characters shriek and prance... and all for what? Russell (as much as I like his work) employs a style here that cannot do a biopic of someone's life justice.
September 15, 2008
After the success and excess of Tommy, Ken Russell (almost) went to Hollywood with this trashy, tabloid screen biopic, and it nearly killed his career in the process!! Done with a structure like Citizen Kane, it starts off at a New York funeral home where silent screen star Rudolph Valentino, (played by ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev), lies in state, the women of his life, including movie executive June Mathis (Felicity Kendal), his first wife Jean Acker (Carol Kane), Russian actress Alla Nazimova (Leslie Caron) and his second wife Natacha Rambova (Michelle Phillips) reveal to reporters what they remember about Valentino, and his life and times, and his sexual exploits and his ups and downs in Hollywood. True, the film takes alot of artistic liberties with Valentino's life, (alot of the stuff in the film never actually happened.) Ken had a bad time whilst shooting it, he and alot of critics may hate it, but time has been kind to this screen biopic, it may not be Uncle Ken's best film, but it was perfect material for him, what he did for his composer biopics, he does here for a legend of the silent screen. Nureyev may be wobbly as an actor but boy!! He can sure dance!! :D
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