Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Legend of Valentino is a TV-shorthand retelling of the life and loves of legendary silent screen star Rudolph Valentino, here portrayed by Franco Nero. This TV movie was advertised as "romantic fiction," which was just as well since its only nods to the truth are the basic facts of Valentino's enormous screen fame and the national hysteria attending his early death in 1926 of peritonitis. Typical of Legend of Valentino's fabrications is the depiction of Valentino's first meeting with his future mentor, screenwriter June Mathis (played by Suzanne Pleshette). In real life, Mathis discovered Valentino by watching him play a string of supporting roles; in Legend, she confronts him in her living room while he's burglarizing her house! Despite its historical shortcomings, Legend of Valentino is a lot better than the 1951 and 1977 biopics of the "Latin Lover."
actor, fame, love, mentor, silent-film