The Isle of Love (1922)

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Released on states rights in 1922, this silent comedy-drama starred female impersonator Julian Eltinge as a brash American dressing up as a woman in order to wrest control of an island kingdom from an evil prince. The ploy fails, however, and the American, along with the rightful heir to the throne (Rudolph Valentino), are forced to flee the island. In America, Eltinge is reunited with girlfriend Eunice (Alma Francis), while Valentino finds happiness with a young woman from the old country. This film had originally been produced in 1918 as a serious World War I melodrama. But having failed to secure a release in a market overly satiated with war films, Balshofer edited the footage into a comedy and released it in 1920 as The Adventuress. By 1922, however, bit-part player Rudolph Valentino had become a major star and Balshofer went back into the editing room, restored several outtakes and brashly re-released the film as a Valentino vehicle.