Valentino (1977) Script

(J' RICHARD DAY LEWIS: "There's A New Star In Heaven Tonight")

J' Stars may come and stars may go J' Up there in that starry space J' But when one falls, God always calls J' A star to take its place J' There's a new star in heaven tonight J' That will never fade from our sight J' There's a new star at home J' In that far starry dome J' Shining down on his loved ones tonight J' There's a voice singing, "Lead, kindly light"

J' With a smile that has made the world bright J' Valentino, goodbye J' But way up in the sky J' There's a new star in heaven tonight

J' There's a voice singing, "Lead, kindly light"

J' With a smile that has made the world bright J' Valentino, goodbye J' But way up in the sky J' There's a new star in heaven J' Tonight J'

(People shouting)

We want Rudy! We want Rudy...!

(Horse whinnying)

Personally, fellas, I'm tickled pink by this turnout.

They're squeezing out of the subways like pomade out of a tube.

Sure, why not? It's free, ain't it? But how long is it gonna last?

He oughta taken better care of himself.

A lousy appendix!

He should've Iayed off the booze, too.

The moment he goes into the ground, our grosses go with him.

Right, so before they take him out of here, we gotta re-release his movies into every theatre in the country.

That's why I got the lab working night and day, grinding out reprints of The Sheik.

Which labs?

Better not be Pathé, Jesse - I got Son of the Sheik running through there.

Listen, we've all got to get together on this. Cash in on this publicity, but quick.

All right, so what's the angle?

We're getting outta here!

(Crowd chanting) We want Rudy! We want Rudy!

(Glass breaking, sirens wailing)

(Man) Mr McBride!

Mr McBride!

Hold this, sir.

Sorry to bother you, Mr McBride.

There's a guy here, says he has to see you, sir.

Say sweetie, you look kinda cute all alone with your posy.

Make a nice picture.

How about a big smile? Leave me alone.

Hey, don't I know... I know who you are!

Hey, but I'll keep it under my hat.

You wouldn't want those vultures to get their hooks into you.

How about it, Bianca, huh? A little exclusive about you and Rudy?

Exclusive? It was splashed across every newspaper in the country.

Yeah, that was over ten years ago. Then it didn't matter.

He was just an immigrant bumming around New York, nothing but a gigolo.

He was not a gigolo. He was a professional dancer.

Pretty risky, playing around with someone like you, somebody married to a big noise in the rackets.

It was perfectly innocent.

We were just two lonely foreigners finding a little companionship on the dancefloor.

Oh, yeah? I heard all about the private lessons.

Hey, that's great. Now take a big sniff of the pansies.

They're violets!

Too bad. But from what I hear, pansies would've been more appropriate.

(J' Orchestra plays tango)

Ma Che bravo!

Bianca, forgive me.

(Speaks Italian)

I forgot the time. Very fortunate for me.

That was so exciting to watch.

Rudy, is this gentleman who I think he is?

Oh, yes. Sorry. This is Vaslav Nijinsky.

Signor Nijinsky, this is my very dear friend Bianca de Saulles.


If you could've just seen him tripping the light fantastic with that ballet dancer, you'd have gone bananas.

Talk about Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

(Man) 'Bianca was dancing with the fairy?'

No, she didn't dance with the fairy. I'm talking about Valentino.

'Why, did they fuck?'

They looked as though they were crazy about one another.

'Valentino and the fairy?'

No, not Valentino and the fairy. Valentino and your wife.

'For Christ, do you think they go to bed together?'

No, I don't think they do. I think the hottest they ever get's holding hands while he gives her private lessons on my dancefloor.

They don't call him Saint Rudolfo for nothing.

'All right, listen, I'll be down there later.' Yeah, I'll see you later.

_ ' Mmh?

'You keep it warm for me, toots.' Yeah.

Yeah, I'm keeping it warm.

Good afternoon, Miss Billie.

OK, fellas.

Straighten up, you look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

What happened to you? You sent me for a haircut, Miss Billie.

Not to Alcatraz, I didn't.

Biting your nails again, Frederico? Sorry, Miss Billie.

Keep that up, and I'll put you in a straightjacket, Ah, snow in mid-summer. I'm getting it treated, Miss Billie.

Poached or sunny side up?

Who for Christ's sake are you?

I'm Jimmy Grimaldi, the replacement from the agency, Miss Billie.

Oh, you are, are you? Well, you'd better get some polish on your shoes, Jimmy, otherwise you'll end up shining other people's - just like your predecessor.

I'll try a new cream, Miss Billie.

Ain't they never heard of spit where you people come from?

The only one to cut any ice out of the whole bunch of you is Saint Rudolpho here.

Even though he does act as though he owned the joint.

But I was giving a private lesson, Miss Billie.

You give too many private lessons.

Lay off the de Saulles dame.

Circulate more, baby.

Give some of the older broads a whirl.

They tip better.

And while we're at it, don't go welshing on the tips, Jimmy.

It's fifty-fifty, and anybody who forgets that is fired.

And for Christ's sake smile!

I've seen better line-ups in the police gazette.

(J' Orchestra strikes up)

You dance divinely.

Only with you. With everyone else I have two left feet.

I think you are too kind.

I could dance all night with you.

In your arms I can forget for a moment that I am but a slave - everyone's to command by the lift of an eyebrow.

Oh, I can't bear to share you with anyone.

Come to me tonight.

Nothing would give me greater pleasure...

...if the health of my poor widowed mother would permit it.

You dear, sweet boy.

A bientét, ma be//e madonna de la café triste.

Would Madam honour me with the next dance?


Rudy, I've been thinking about what you said.

If I leave him, he'll kill me.

He would never dare to touch the wife of Rudolpho Valentino.

I have considered it- you must divorce him.

Oh, Rudy, if only I could.

I know he's cheating on me with every chorine in town, but anyone crazy enough to testify against him is going to end up as a hole in the East River.

I will testify. Valentino is not afraid.

That's wonderful of you, Rudy, but how would you get the dirt on him?

That won't be difficult. I...

No more tea time hops with dagos for you, baby. Blow, pretty boy.

The music is not quite over, Signore. It is for you, sweetheart.

Now you go straighten up your lipstick before you're one gimp guinea.

Jack... Shut up, goddamnit!

Waltzing with wops is one thing, but he's a pansy.

Sir! I'm an artist, a professional dancer.

You know, I say any guy who dances with another guy is a powder puff.

You got that, wop? I didn't tell him.

Ah, Billie! Someone left the stable door open.

Then quit horsing around with the customers.

You're fired. Get off the floor.

You know, there ought to be a law stopping you lounge lizards from sneaking into this country.

Here, get yourself a bowl of spaghetti.

Let's go. Let's get out of here.

Hey, waiter! Show me to the best table.

I have just become a customer.


(Door opens)

Watch the birdie! (Screams)

I just waited an watched.

I have known about them for some time now, Bianca, dear, but I kept it from you for fear of hurting you.

We are all creatures of habit.

Soon you'll be free of him.

Oh, thank you.

How do you like it? Al dente? Oh, Rudy, any way you like.

Oh, it's such a relief.

If you only knew what I've been through.

He frightens me.

Right after the divorce we must go away - somewhere I'll be safe.

In California, on my farm.

There you'll be safe. That farm's a dream.

Already in one year I've saved $800, and that is no dream.

Soon we'll have one just like that.

And there's my diploma of agriculture to prove it.

How about your mama's steamship ticket? You're saving up for that, too, remember?

It won't be expensive. I owe it to her.

When father died, she worked very hard to bring up the family and send me here.

Wait till you meet her.

We don't have to wait.

I could sell me jewellery tomorrow for plenty.

But that belongs to you and Joey. I wouldn't dream of it.

And you won't mind taking him along?

Every farmer needs a family.

I'll have a head start. Be patient.


We'll soon have enough to get married. We've got the money!

Now what's stopping us?

Rudy, we can't live here.

It would not be honourable for me to accept money from you.

But you take money from other women. What's the difference?

The difference is, I love you.

They buy my flattery and my time, but my love is not for sale.

(Man) No, Eddie, no!

Mama... (Bianca) Oh, my God!


Quickly, Bianca! Get out!

Go for the front door! Block him! I got him!

That's enough, you bastard. Shut up, lady!

Now you're gonna get what's coming to you.

(Screams) Keep that dame quiet!

Rudy! Put him out, Rocky!

You're not taking him from me!

You beat the murder rap on the grounds you acted on maternal instinct, huh?

He wanted to take my baby away from me.

Yeah, er... I guess you did mean your son.

Hey, you believe that story Valentino died of ulcers or appendix or something - a healthy guy like that, only 31 years old?

Had everything anybody could ever want.

All the women in the world at his feet.

What did he have to worry about to get ulcers?

You think maybe your husband's old pals rubbed him out?

You know, a slug of arsenic, a bullet in the gut?

You gotta admit they ran him out of New York, chased him to Hollywood.

Some skeletons should be allowed to rest in their closets.

You're June Mathis, aren't you? No.

You... wait a minute!

Hey, June.

Cummings, remember? Johnny.

Hello, Johnny.

Hey, some shock, huh? Whew!

Everyone's jumping on the bandwagon.

Mussolini even sent a guard of honour. He hated Rudy's movies.

Say, there's a story flying around that he actually died in your arms.

Is that true? No!

But if you've got the story, why do you want the truth?

Oh, give me a break, June. All I need is one little quote.

Coming from you, it'll mean something.

After all, you did launch the guy.

You make him sound like a battleship.

Not that he didn't always have some kind of a fight on his hands.

What would you call him - in a word?

Huh! In a word.

To me he was...

...a dancer.

That's right, he was a gigolo.

Listen, by the time he hit Hollywood, he'd climbed out of the ballroom. He was in cabaret.

He was a partner to an exhibition dancer on the skids.

He carried that act in more ways than one.

Funny how he was dependent on some dame all...

...all his life.

Is that where you discovered him, in a cabaret?

Ijust happened to be at Baron Long's on the night of his...

...farewell performance.

Ach, du /ieber Himmel, so 'ne ScheiBe!

Now, look! You got two more shows yet.

How about easing up on that, huh? Look!

I've been in this business twenty years, I know my limit.

Sister, you are the limit.

Can I have a word with you, Valenti? Valentino.

Hey! Anything... Hey, anything you gotta say to him, you can say to me. It's my act, not his.

OK, then you listen to me.

Now, I've got a bunch of this movie crowd coming in for the next show, and they're a pretty bad bunch. What'd you expect?

Los Angeles is still a cow town. Right.

Then don't try slipping these jokers the bull.

You're not satisfied with our act, I take it, Mr Long?

Baron Long, if you don't mind. Ah, excuse me.

Oh, come on, she's so far over the hill, she's below sea level.

I know this isn't the Cocoanut Grove... but I expect something for my money!

I fell for your charm.

Without these movie slobs, I'm just another beer joint.

So, you better get Miss Tain here to tighten up her two-step, or you'll both be practising on the sidewalk. Get the drift?

See you out there in twenty minutes.

Soben Wiedersehen.

Charming individual.

You'll forgive me, Miss Tain, but perhaps he has a point.

If you'd awakened in time for rehearsal... Aw, stow the eager beaver stuff!

Anytime you want to...

That two-bit musical I found you in in Omaha, anytime you want to catch up to it OK, or New York, maybe you want to walk back into that de Saulles mess?

A little hot for you still, huh?


You're lucky to be touring the boonies after what you did, killing a man.

If you're keeping those Iapels polished for a comeback, forget it.

They have a long memory in New York.

They seem to have forgotten you... easily enough.

Mr Kid Gloves.

Is that what all those ladies paid you for?

A real lady never pays for anything, Miss Tain.

Is that right?

Well, God help you, junior.

If you ever have anything worth taking, some bright bitch is gonna give you the ride of your life.

Hey, I'm sorry.

It... it wouldn't have worked out with you and that de Saulles dame anyway.

Got a pin?

(J' Orchestra plays jaunty tune)

Pull the other one.

Hey, girls. A big train in a small tunnel.

Just like last night. Ooh...

Die groBe Welt. The star of stars.

Baron Long... time no see.

You're looking great, Bear-on.

And your brother, huh?

Welcome to your favourite... your favourite place.

I bearly saw it. Your new table, Fatty.

Mr Fatty! Mr Fatty.

Hey, put it there, Baron.

(Electronic buzzing)

Oh, Baron, I didn't know you could dance.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa...

Hey! What have we got here?

Look at the lovely Easter bonnet.

I guess I'm the life of the party.

Hey! Pooey!

Hey, Fatty!


Oh, honey...

What'll it be, Fatty?

Mr Fatty?

You learn fast, you Bavarian bum.

Those big pots of beer for everybody.

I want a Ramos Fizz. They make 'em real creamy here, OK?

I guess I said beer though, didn't I?

(Electronic buzzing)

Oh... What did I say, huh?

What did I say?

Beer, Meanie.

Mr Meanie! (Electronic buzzing)


(J' Drum roll)

(Audience cheers, claps)


Hey! What have we got here, huh?

A floor show or a cattle drive?

Breathe deeply, ignore them.

Hey, if you're out of booze, just have this bimbo sweat in a glass.

You're a professional - obscure them with your chin.

Somebody's not laughing.

Hey, Sister!

You dance like my ass chews gum!

Forty-six skidoo!

And that means both of you.

(J' Music stops)

Hey, do me a favour, huh? Get off!

Madam, permit me to complete your dance card.

El Chocolo.

(J' Orchestra strikes up)

I'm sorry.

(Audience laughs)

Valenti... Don't tell me. I know.

You're fired.

(J' "0 Sole Mio" on piano)

J' 0 Sole mio J' Sta 'nfronte a me!

J' Sta 'nfronte...

J' Che bella cosa... J'


Cor, Fatty sure is going to be mad at me.

You are much better off without that elephante.

Ramos Fizz? Yeah.

Is it nice? Yeah.

Nice and creamy. Yeah, I like them really creamy.

That's why Fatty don't like me ordering 'em, on account he has to lose weight.

J' Then he'd have nothing J' To chuck around... J'

Sorry about this old mess here.

My maid ain't in tonight.

You mean you live here all alone? Yeah.

I'm getting a bigger spot, too. Soon as I get a raise.

Two more pictures and my contract's up for renewal.

Pictures? Yeah.

I guess you're not exactly a charmed member of my fan club, huh?

I'm sorry. I don't go to many movies.

But I'm sure I've seen you somewhere before.

Yeah? Yeah.

Well, don't worry about it.

There's plenty that have.

You ain't even seen the poster for my new movie?

They were all over town.

Well, I've just arrived from Omaha.

Yeah? Well, say...

You ought to try pictures yourself if you're staying for a while.

You got a lot of style.

I mean that as a strictly professional compliment.

I haven't had much acting experience, I'm afraid.

Acting, hmm?

No, all you need in movies is to look sincere.

Let me tell you, brother.

Looking sincere in this town is a lot of hard work.

There must be more to acting than that.

No, silly. Nobody even hears a word you're saying.

So, lots of times when I'm supposed to be saying my lines, Ijust mouth a lot of cuss words to try and break up the kids on the crew.

Maybe you can teach me a few cuss words.


I do feel kinda responsible for you.

Losing your job and all.

Was the erm... lady taking care of you?

I'm unattached, unemployed... no strings.

Oh, you'll do all right.

Would you believe it? Last year I was waiting tables in Dallas.

Just imagine.

(June) Well, Richard, what do you think?

(Richard) He looks what he is, a dancehall gigolo.

Come on, Richard, what do you expect? It's a Keystone two-reeler.

Now, forget the part he's playing and use your imagination.

Ah! Now there's a possibility.

(Laughs) For Wally Reid?

Hey, don't laugh. He's a star - big box office.

Not a... not a bit player like your man.

You see, honey, Wally's the boy next door all the women love.

(June) I know the women of America, and they want to vamoose from the boy next door.

Valentino's their ticket to a faraway land of romance.

Now remember, our hero in the movie is from South America, not South Dakota.

You give Reid sideburns and a bottle of brilliantine, and he's as Latin as, er... you know, er... as a Mexican jumping bean.

More like six foot of home-grown corn.


But at least he's tried and tested. Now, we're making a million-dollar movie.

How can I take a chance on an unknown like Valentine?

(June) Valentino. (Richard) Yeah, Valentino.

(June) You like him when he danced at Baron Long's.

(Richard) Our picture isn't going to be one long tango.

The part calls for a great Latin lover. The schmuck looks like a tailor's dummy.

(June) Well, he does have to dance with her.

The only time Wally looks good is when he's holding a football.


Come on now, Richard. What do you say?

Well, he wears a custard pie as well as the next man, but honey, he'd...

He'd look better carrying a tray than carrying a picture. I've seen enough.

No, wait a minute. OK, wait. Now, that was a mistake, but wait a minute, I want you to see him in something romantic.

I want you to see him in something dramatic.

Honey, I can't offer this guy to a director like Rex Ingram.

He'll buy it. Don't you forget, you didn't want Rex either until I sold him to you.


Can you kill this and run The Married Virgin?

Married Virgin? (Laughs)

What I hear of Valentino, it's the perfect casting.

I'm sorry, June.

Well, at least give him a screen test.

It would be a waste of good film stock.

Hey, isn't that the jerk that married that starlet - what's her name - Jean Acker?

And on their wedding night she looked him out of the honeymoon suite, eh?

This guy doesn't want a screen test, he wants a sex test. (Laughs)

Oh, what about your wholesome boy next door, Wally Reid - can he get through a day without cocaine?

At least Wally sniffs it, which is more than Valentino does for his wife.

Oh, Richard, now come on.

You gotta trust me.

If the test is no good, you pay for the film stock.

You got a deal.


Skip the rest, Bert. Send all the stuff back to the distributors.

You look as if you're lost.

Miss Mathis? That's me.

Your secretary said I should come right on up.

You... you are not Mr Rudolph Valentino by any chance?

It's Valentino right now, but I'm thinking of changing it to Rudolph.

(Coughs) I mean, Richard Valentine.

Howdy, ma'am? Pleased to meet you.

Afraid I'm a mite early, but I guess I'm just a natural get-up and go-getter.

Well, I, er... I'm not sure that you're early enough, er...

Richard, we were just checking through your credits.

I have my credentials right here.

My diploma - I graduated with first class honours.

Diploma? Yeah, right here.

Co//egio Rea/e Agricolo. ..

The Royal Agricultural College of Genoa?

Not unlike Yale in many ways.

And you want to cultivate a big crop of lettuce here in California, right?

Not lettuce. Oranges.

Oranges? Yeah, I aim to buy an orange grove.

But my mother is far from well, and first I must make some money to bring her over from Italy.

Well, maybe you're about to do just that.

D'you know why you're here?

You are writing a screenplay and are wanting me for the hero, I hope.

Am I right?

You know what sort of a hero?

There's only one sort - the clean-cut American boy, and as you can see, I'm as Yankee as they come.

Yeah, but the hero of The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse is a Gaucho from Argentina with a taste for the tango - and he's Latin.

Count Rodolfo Alfonso Rafaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina D'Antonguolla at your service, Signorina.

Every day is Halloween in Tinseltown.

(J' Tango Pl3Y5)

(J' Music stops)

(J' Music resumes)

So, I said to June, of course it's a gamble. Whoever heard of a dago playing a dago?

At least, I said, let's give the guy a screen test.

Well, the rest is history. June?

Hello, June. Morning, folks.

Just running the tango scene, Richard, trying out some music.

That sounds good. OK...

I'm gonna leave you here with June. Let me know what you think, huh?

Au revoir, Richard. Merci bien.

Is that Valentino? Well, he certainly can dance.

Yes. I like...

Yes, I like very much.

Very good. Oh!

Beautiful, beautiful animal!

Like a tiger. He moves like a tiger.

What grace.

What sensuality.

Oh, how clever you are, dyevushka.

Thank you, Nazimova.

I think he's got class.

This is the guy you've been looking for.

He would make perfect Armand to my Camille...

...if he can act.

(Natasha) With you, they don't have to act, darling.

What a treasure.

June, dyevushka. Come and meet my latest discovery.

Natasha Rambova.

Hi, Natasha. Hello.

Since last night, she's my new designer.

Two discoveries in one day?

Mmh! What dignity! I must meet him today. Where is he?

Well, at the moment they're out in the valley shooting a battle scene.

If you like him, you'd better stake your claim right now because when this movie's released, there's gonna be a second gold rush.

Merci, ma chérie.

Oh, what glamour, what elegance. Almost like a woman.

Maybe his wife thought so, too. Oh, you naughty girl.

Every day is Halloween in Tinseltown.

Holy cow!

Where is he?

Where is my sweet Armand?


Hey, Nazimova, we missed it. One more time for the New York Post.

And what a shame!

She would've made tomorrow's front page for sure.

Armand, my love.

It is I, your Camille.

I must be brave.

No! No! No!

I cannot.

The pain is too great.

Ah, I think I will faint.

Hey, come on.


(Laughing, cheering)


Please, please...

Bravo! Wonderful!

How well I remember that fateful meeting.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were loose in the land.

(Horses approaching, whinnying)


(Horse whinnying)


(Horse whinnying)

Cut it!

Cut it! (Car horn beeps)

Hey, what the hell do you think you're doing?

Get that heap out of here.

What daring! What symbolism!

What an awful lot of horseshit!

Andrew, my boy. Yes, sir?

Your outrage was commendable. Well, thank you, sir.

You like your job? Yes, sir.

Then you'd better learn to recognise the uncrowned queen of Metro.

Nazimova! Get me a drink.

Come on, let's go. (Horse whinnying)

Rex! Me/yushka!

Which one is Italian boy whose name wafts like garlic on every breath in town?

Randolph something or other.

Any more, sir? Take her to Valentino.

That woman will be the death of me. Reload!

Death? No, this is truly symbolic.

Our meeting on this wasteland harbingers death of commerce and for you, my dear sweet boy, birth of art.

You can take your art, lady, and stuff it up your ass!

Natasha, translate please. He has picked up terrible accent.

He said... (Translates)

(Swears in Russian)

Miss Nazimova, that's not Valentino. He's over there.

Ugh! Rex is naughty boy to playjoke on Nazimova.

Fellow artists should only play jokes on studio bosses, not on each other.

Drive on!

(J' Italian song on gramophone)

Get us a coffee while you're in there, will you?

(Chuckles) Anyway, it's terrible cliche to show death as man.

Is it?

Well, where is he? Over there.

You will forgive me, Miss Nazimova, for saying so, but I don't think Rudy's really exactly in the mood for company.

I beg your pardon? I am sorry.

It's just that, well, he's had a letter from Italy this morning.

His mother just passed away.

Natasha... we have found our Armand.

We'll have to do something about those awful eyebrows.


Oh, that I could have sacrificed my life for him in reality as I sacrificed myself for him long ago in Camille.

Do you ever plan on making a comeback, Nazimova?

I am waiting for the right vehicle.

A hearse yet.

Did the failure of Camille set back Valentino's career?

Camille was a triumph.

Only money lenders equate box office receipts with artistic merit.

Camille was turning point in Valentino's life.

Is it right that he turned down the part of John the Baptist in your homosexual production of Salome?

He was unavailable.

So, Rudy never worked with you again? Oh, poppycock!

We worked on History of Dance project.

Russian ballet, Greek dancing. Big production.

We even made storyboard in my own home.

Isn't that so, Natasha?

Only no studio would finance it. No vision.

Were you the art director on that one, Natasha?

Naturally! We were one big happy family.

Oh, Natasha, dyevushka.

Come to Nazimova.

Come into my arms, my little one.

(Reporter) Did Rudy's death come as a shock to you, Mrs Valentino?

Nazimova never stops thinking about...

(Reporter) Was he ill at the time of your separation?

We were never separated. June!

We were torn apart physically for a while by the evil forces in Hollywood.

But we never lost Contact on the spiritual plane.

(Reporter) Which ended with his death. Not at all.

(Reporter) Has Valentino any message for his host of worshippers?


He has a message for everyone.

"Dreaming when dawn's left hand was in the sky, "I heard a voice from out the heavens cry, "awake my little one and fill the cup

"before life's liquor in its flask be dry."

(Reporter 1) He's advocating an end to prohibition?

(Reporter 2) Is that a quote from his book of poems?

(Reporter 3) Sounds more like the Rubéiyét than Rudy.

Under my tutelage Valentino became both a poet and a disciple of Omar Khayyém.

(Reporter) Is Omar the spirit medium through which you Contact Rudy?


(Reporter) Meselope? Who's Meselope?

Take the bones of Meselope and cast them in the sand before me.

What is Meselope?

A key from the past to unlock the mysteries of the future.

Meselope was a High Priest to the God Osiris in Egypt, 3,000 years ago.

Sacra Madonna!

What do you see?

Do you see love?

I see trouble.

Hi, Rudy. Ijust saw the dailies. You're terrific.

We're gonna wrap early, Rudy, because we've got a light problem.

Hello, Natasha, what are you doing here? Having a picnic?

Will you save those bones for my dogs?

I'd really like to send your dresser home early.

It's all right, George. l'll manage.

Well, just remember to fold... ...everything away neatly. Yes, George.

Well, watch out for sand snakes.

And if you ever want a job as a slave girl, just give me a ring.

Yeah. Fine.

If you ever want to learn how to run a studio, just give me one.

Good night, Mr Lasky.

Good night.

And try to save a little something for the big rape scene tomorrow, huh?

Let's go, George. Yes, sir.

"Here with a loaf of bread beneath the bough, "a flask of wine, a book of verse, "and thou beside me singing in the wilderness, "and wilderness is paradise enough."

Did you write that? (Chuckles) Omar Khayyém.

Hey, maybe he can write our subtitles.

He's sort of retired.

Anyway, be kind of a mouthful to say during the big rape scene, don't you think?

You couldn't by any chance be kidding me, could you?

I've never been more serious.

You've got to be careful now.

The Four Horsemen and Camille made you a star.

They were quality movies.

You shouldn't be wasting your talent on this sheik stuff.

Meselope's bones? No, my own.

Your bones told me to leave Metro. And you doubled your salary.

The next step is script approval.

What if Lasky refuses? Kiss him goodbye.

Become independent and produce your own films.

Nazimova did it.

Do you think any of the majors would've backed a work of art like Salome?

Those shoe pedlars think "ars gratia artis" means "a great piece of ass".

How is Salome?

I finished my set designs last week, and now I'm teaching Nazimova the Dance Of The Seven Veils.

You should be playing Salome yourself.

You like it then?

I would give half my kingdom for you to finish it.

Well, where is it?

Where is what? Half your kingdom.

Natasha, you know I love you.

Promises, promises, you're as bad as Herod.

He wouldn't pay up either.

I meant I will give you anything.

Yes, I know what you were planning to give me.

Can you blame me?

Yes, but you were cheating.

You can't give me half your kingdom because it already belongs to your wife.


You know my marriage to Jean is no marriage at all.

I know she's suing you for separate maintenance.

The whole thing was a disaster.

Yes, I heard about the honeymoon fiasco.

They say that when it got right down to it, you couldn't even pay the bill.

I was down on my luck.

Yes, and when your luck changed, you walked out on her.

She did the walking, not me.

Then you should file a cross complaint...

...for divorce.

I couldn't.

Last time I got mixed up in a divorce, somebody got hurt.

Besides, it's not honourable to sully a woman's reputation in the courts.

A court, a tent, what's the difference?

If I sue for divorce, would you accept it?

Accept what? Half my kingdom.

I never do anything halfway, darling.

That's one thing you should learn about me right now...

...if I'm going to become your wife.


You make me the happiest of men.

Just look at that costume!

And you promised to fold it away neatly for the big rape scene tomorrow.

Now, would you get dressed?

You look silly lying there in nothing but a turban.

(J' CHRIS ELLIS: "The Sheik Of Araby")

J' I'm the Sheik of Araby J' Your love belongs to me J' At night when you're asleep J' Into your tent l'll creep J' The stars that shine above J' Will light our way to love J' You'll rule this land with me J' The Sheik of Araby

J' Over the desert wild and free J' Rides the bold Sheik of Araby J' His Arab band J' At his command J' Follow his love's caravan J' Under the shadow of the palms J' He sings to call her to his arms J'

Natasha... Pazha/sta! No, please!

Darling, darling. Oh, Natasha, please. Dyevushka...

Neat trick!

You talk us into doing a storyboard for the next movie, then you sell it to the press as pornography.

Oh, but I did not plan it that way. Please, believe me, dyevushka.

Oh, we will still make the dance film, yes?

We will still make the dance film, no!

Meselope says it's time to change partners.

I'm getting married. Oh, but you can't!

Spaghetti's divorce is not final. This is bigamy.

Not in Mexico it's not. And his name is Rudolph.

Oh... gavno!

(Car engine starts)



(Swears in Russian) Let me go!

Oh, get her in and shut up.

Someone who hates us, that's who did it.

Courva Nazimova.

You're not very lucky in your choice of friends.

You're not very lucky with your wedding nights, are you?

June, are you there? Hi, George. What are you doing here?

Look, I'm... I'm sorry to bother you, but it's important.

It must be to tear you away from Sunday brunch.

Rudy is in big trouble. What's the matter? Is he hurt?

No, no, no, nothing like that. He's in jail.

Jail? Yes, in jail.

The cops are holding him on a bigamy charge.

He and Natasha got antsy, you see, so they skipped across the border for a Mexican marriage and they got caught on the way back.

Now, June, if he's convicted, it's good for one to five years, and the D.A. has set the bail at $10,000 on a Sunday, the bastard!

Have you tried Lasky? Yes, yes, but he's not taking any calls.

Then we'd better make a call on him - in person.

Ah, I've got my car right outside.

Hurry. Hurry, George. We don't want them to spend the night in jail.

Afternoon, Mr Lasky.

Er... it's very good of you to see us.

Naturally it's pretty important, or we'd never dream of bothering you.

What are you doing about getting Valentino out ofjail?


But he's your biggest star! $10,000 is chicken feed to the studio.

You made a fortune out of him.

Why spend $10,000 to get him out, when we're getting a million dollar's worth of free publicity with him on the inside?

How do I explain that to the stockholders?

That's inhuman!

Nonsense! It's strictly business.

The more the press knocks the boy, the bigger the box office. Goodbye.

Goodbye, sir.


And thanks anyway. You're welcome, I'm sure.

He thinks more of that damned monkey than he does of Rudy.

A lousy ten grand! Makes me wanna spit.

Have you tried Natasha's father?

He's a big shot in the cosmetics business or something, isn't he?

Richard Hudnut, June, is the cosmetics business.

Well, he sprang for Natasha all right, but bail for resisting arrest isn't a hell of a lot more than that guy drops in a restaurant, but Rudy he didn't want to know about.

Damnit, I'd lay out the dough myself, but I'm between pictures.

Well, I'm not between pictures.

Call my Iawyerjust as soon as the bank's open tomorrow, George.

Hey June, come on, you haven't got that kind of money.

I've got a few buck tucked away. what do you think I spend it on?

Champagne, baths and black silk formals?

Just don't tell Rudy where it came from. He'd never take it.

Are you sure you won't change your mind and come along? I know he'd appreciate it.

Just drop me off at the studio, George.

It's a shame that he won't know that you're the one pal who pulled for him in a pinch.

Oh, come on. Cut the hearts and flowers, George.

He's my bread and butter.

(George) Rudy!

They've got you in the tank.

Thank God it's you, George. I thought I would be here all night.

I'm sorry, Rudy. Natasha's out for $500, but your ten grand have been too much of a stickler.

What about Lasky? The studio?

What can I say? I guess they're scared of public opinion.

A charge of bigamy is a lot more serious than just er... biting a policeman.

(Valentino) But I am legally divorced.

(George) Not in California you're not.

In California it takes a year for a divorce to become final.

That's why we got married in Mexico where they don't have that law.

Well, ha ha, now you're back in California where they do.

OK, Natasha, come on.

You're getting out of here, but Rudy has to wait for the banks to open.

Don't worry, Rudy.

My stepfather will stand for bail.

He owes it to you for taking me off his hands.

Please, Natasha. I'd rather you didn't.

Look, Rudy, I...

Don't worry about it, OK?

Worry? Worry about what, George?

Nothing, nothing. OK, come on, Natasha, let's get out of here.

Take this in remembrance of me.

Wear it always.

I promise you most sacredly, my darling...

Yes, my love?

...l'll get that little worm Lasky for this if it takes me the rest of my life.

Chin up, Rudy.

Come the dawn, you'll be as free as a bird. Just keep holding your nose.

Ah, here, lover boy. Another nice, strong mug of coffee.

Thanks. Much obliged. You're welcome.

I don't guess you was figuring on sleeping too much tonight anyway, huh?

Not a chance.

That's some broad.

Too bad we couldn't have obliged with the honeymoon suite.

It would've been quite an education peeping through the bars.

We'd have seen how much you got there hanging between your legs.

The eight wonder of the world, they say.

And I'll bet the blushing bride could've showed us a trick or two.

Leave her out of it.

Now, that's a naughty boy.

Gonna have to teach him a lesson.

Like er... taking away his toilet privileges.

Stronzo! Merda!

Which is a shame because there was a little something in that coffee you've been drinking all day to make you want to piss all night. Hey, Willie.

The world's greatest expert here tonight.

Why don't you ask him for a few pointers on split-tail anatomy?

Poor Willie - he's been inside so long he's forgotten what it looks like.

Hey, Willie, say hello to the world's greatest lover, Mr Rudolph Valentino.

Give us a shake, Sheik.

(Speaks Italian)

And you'll never guess it's his wedding night.

Just stick it through the bars, Rudy, and close your eyes, 'cause you'll never know the difference.

No kidding, Willie. This guy has it ten times a day.

The broads just throw themselves on it.

Ten times a day, that's nothing.

I get it twenty times. Can you hear that? Twenty!

Once I had it twenty-four times. Every hour on the hour.

And I can draw it out, make it one long fuck.

That's what life should be about - one long fuck.

You gotta fuck them before they fuck you, right?

You gotta fuck them before they fuck you.

See, that's it, Willie boy!

Go fuck your fist!

That's all you're gonna get for the next twenty years, Willie.

Hey, Chief, kick the piss out of him.

Any minute now, fellas, I'm gonna sell tickets! Ha-ha!

Eh, what's the matter, Rudy? You want a change of diaper?

The eighth wonder of the world needs a plumber.



Come on, come on, clear off the street. Keep that street clear.

(lndistinct shouting)

Natasha, Rudy, my children.

How you must have suffered. I moved heaven and earth to get you out of there.

I was just reading the judge's summing up. Seems it was all a mistake anyway.

Mexican laws aren't recognised in the State of California.

So, the ceremony was null and void.

Neither was the marriage consummated. So I read.

The prison bars got in the way. I'm truly sorry.

But now that's all over and forgotten.

Let's get down to the reason I asked you to come and see me.

Then we'll talk Son Of The Sheik.

And while you're at it, why not Grandson Of The Sheik?

I'm happy to say that the board of directors have just given the nod to a little pet project of mine that's been in the works for some time now, Rudy, namely a raise for yours truly.

We're not interested in a raise, we're interested in double our present salaries.

It would be most appreciated if you could make yourself available for make-up test and costume fittings on Monday.

We're not interested in trying on any new turbans just now, thank you.

Nor are we interested in pictures which debase our talent.

This "we" we insist upon over-using, Miss Hudnut, this is editorial, or do we now think we're the Queen of Sheba?

From now on, I want script approval.


That's ridiculous, Rudy. Nobody gets script approval.

Fairbanks and Pickford get script approval.

But they own their own studio. They are United Artists.

Artists, huh! A bunch of phoney curls and a muscle-bound moustache.

He's a bigger star than both of them.

He, until a few short years ago, was a two-bit dancehall gigolo.

If it wasn't for me, you would be bankrupt.

I made you millions, and you offer me trash.

Unless you honour the spirit of my contract, I will be compelled to find work elsewhere.

The only work you'll find, young man, is waiting on tables in some spaghetti joint.

Your contract here is two more years to go, and if you so much as take a pratfall in a Mexican two-reeler, I'm gonna slap an injunction on your little Italian ass.

Well, we could use the vacation.

Vacation, huh?

Two years off the screen, and he'll be dead and buried.

To my public I will never die, and when Valentino returns, he will not reward their loyalty with rubbish.

Ne crachez pas en /'air.

I warn you! You'll never work again, you meatball!

(Bird squawks)

(Valentino) You are the spirit that moves the universe, the songs that wakes the day, the waves that soothe the sand, the giving hand, the magic of a touch, the peace of afterglow, the mystery of night, the promise of delight.

You make me sound like a shopping list.

The thrill of surrender, the fount of all pleasure, the power of religion, my meaning for existence, my vision of heaven, my life eternal, my love, my friend.

Pure doggerel, darling, but I like the sentiment.

Then you must help me turn it into poetry.

We'll work on it after lunch.

I think we'll have to set another place.

I fear it is a newspaper man.

Do you think we ought to make a run for it?

There's nowhere left to run to.

Good morning. George Ullman.

I represent Mineralava Toiletries.

Well, we haven't got a cent between us.

I hope you've got some free samples. Oh, you betcha.

Although I don't think your lady here is in need of them, Mr Valentino.

Natasha, a fan.

Oh, yes, sir. I've seen all your films.

Four Horsemen, Blood and Sand, The Sheik.

Of course, I haven't seen one in quite a while.

In along while.

Over a year now.

And we've never been happier in our lives.

Mrs Crusoe and Robinson.

Our own island.

Who needs Man Friday?

No one who'd settle for sand and seaweed soup.

I know about you losing your suit with Lasky.

I also know you owe your lawyers $50,000, money which you could very well use right now.

But I guess that's beside the point.

The press has been saying that you're washed up, but I think differently. My card.

Mineralava Toiletries. He's not kidding.

Oh, no, ma'am. We have the largest range of ladies' aids and beauty clays in the Continental U.S. - save of course for Richard Hudnut Cosmetics, Miss Hudnut.

I am not Miss Hudnut. I'm Natasha Rambova.

And soon she will be Mrs Valentino... again.

Beg your pardon.

All the same, Miss Rambova, I don't think your father'd like you even looking at that card.

There's one thing you should learn about me right now.

My stepfather's opinion is of little consequence to me, Mr, er...

Ullman. Good.

Does that mean then that you won't reject my proposition on those grounds?

Just what is your proposition?

Undertaking a tour. The stages of America.

Mr and Mrs Rudolph Valentino. An exercise in interpretive dance, with a few kind words thrown in for the product as the finale.

Vaudeville! You must be out of your mind.

Huh! She must've been talking to the people over at Mineralava, 'cause that's exactly what they said.

"Stick to booking dog acts in Vaudeville."

Do you expect me to appear in Vaudeville?

I who have danced with Vladimir Kosloff and before the crowned heads of Europe?

Anna Pavlova did. Pavlova, huh!

We're artists, not acrobats. You're also broke.

Look, I don't want to spend the rest of my life in the perfume business any more than you want to spend yours here on the rocks.

I'd like to take you over, manage you. To prove my potential, I've already convinced Mineralava to cough up $7,500 a week.

Now, that's more than you ever made in movies.

Total artistic control?

Took the words right out of my mouth.


What about Lasky's injunction?

I can't perform for anyone but him.

That injunction only covers acting.

Not a word in there about dancing.

Are you positive?

My lawyers checked it out. Are you thirsty?

Natasha, what do you think?

I just don't know, Rudolph.

What's she doing now?

Consulting our present business manager.

What does he say?

Meselope says he's thirsty.

Great! Wonderful!

(J' Orchestra plays jaunty tune)

(J' Music stops)

Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you. Just one moment, please.

On behalf of my wife and myself, I would...

One moment.

Thank you.

On behalf of my wife, Natasha, and myself, I would like to thank you for the great ovation.

In the 53 cities we have so far visited on our tour, this is the warmest reception we have ever received.

I would also like to thank the makers of Mineralava who made possible our appearance here tonight.

And talking about appearances, my wife owes her lovely complexion solely to Mineralava beauty clay, nature's answer to all skin problems.

I prefer Mineralava to all other beauty products, including Daddy's.


Typical! Always biting the hand that fed her.

Excuse me, sir, but you have to keep your remarks to yourself, or else leave the theatre.

Lasky? I didn't recognise you.

No reason why you should, Ullman. We've never met.

(J' Orchestra strikes up)

I want you to break his contract with Mineralava.

You won't be the loser by it.

L'll pretend you didn't say that, OK?

What's wrong? You represent him now, don't you?

I was referring to your agent's fee.

Well, you know his terms. Hers, you mean.

$10,000 a week, his own chauffeur-driven limousine, and I'll even throw in a bungalow on the lot.

Gee, that even sounds reasonable.

But the final decision doesn't rest with me.

You mean Mrs Valentino?

That's why I'm giving them script approval and putting her on the payroll as artistic advisor.

Well, there's someone else to consult.

What? Well, whoever it is, let me talk to him and fast.

Mr Lasky, I don't think you'd want to do that.

What are you talking about? Why wouldn't I want to do that?

You see, he's been dead 4,000 years.

Oh, the Goddamn bones.

Remember, darling, you're the greatest lover in all Europe.

Forget you're from the Bronx. You're a Countess.

Swoon, Lorna, swoon.

More restraint, Rudy, more restraint!

Run your hands through his hair.

Don't muss his hair!

Flutter your eyelids. Just a flicker of a smile, darling.

Roll your eyes. That's it, Rudy. No.

More. Less.

More! Less!

Now close your eyes.

Roll your eyes, damn you.

Pant, Lorna, pant.

Still, Rudy, don't breathe.

Now roll your head.

(Moans) (Natasha) Perfectly still!

You are going to die, Lorna.

(Natasha) Now brush her cheeks with your lips.

(Sidney) Start closing your eyes.

(Natasha) Start opening your eyes.

(Sidney) Die of love.

Look at her cynically.

(Sidney) Die of ecstasy. (Natasha) More cynically.

More still. Are you ready for it?

Stand by now. Stand by... kiss!

Do you think she tells him what to do in bed?

Do you think we could say "out" now? Cut!

(Gasping) A powder puff.

Who did that?

Get Lasky.

That was damn silly, eh, Rudy?

Are you still there? Where are you?

Come down.

Will the perpetrator of that childish prank own up?

I'd like to see what kind of man he is.

Whoever the jerk is...

...he's yellow.

Whoever he is, I'll fight him here and now.

Lorna's right. He's yellow. He's not worth bothering about.

Let's get back to work.

There will be no more shooting on Valentino unless the culprit owns up.

(Lasky) What's going on now, Natasha?

Another make-up problem?

Someone dropped this on Rudy from the rails.

A pink powder puff- who would do a thing like that?

Unless the guilty person or persons responsible for this thoughtless act owns up, there will be no more shooting on Valentino today.

Nobody's going to own up, because nobody wants to get fired.

Hey, Jesse, if you ask me, that sounds like victimisation.

If you want to be fair about this thing, fire everybody.

I don't want anybody fired. I just want to fight them.

I give my solemn promise that if the person or persons responsible for this thoughtless act steps forward here and now and apologises, the apology will be accepted and no further action taken.

Natasha, I must go back in there.

Huh! That'll look funny - you just walked out.

Because I love you.

They're tearing us apart.

Why can't it be like it was before?

It will be. It will be.

After this one we can say goodbye to Lasky forever.

United Artists?

George just fixed a deal.

He's coming over to the house this afternoon with the contracts.

Well, that's what you've always wanted.

Oh, darling, all I've ever wanted is to work beyond the reach of every hamfist with a key to the screening room.

I'll be the production designer, the writer, the director.

You'll play the part of your life.

A dark-skinned moor, bearded, a sort of intellectual Othello.

The Fa/con will be the perfect film because it will be the work of one person:


That's wonderful, dear.

But now I must go back inside there or forever lose my self-respect.


I call it vanity.

But if you really want to win the respect of the crew, you'd better screw that little whore Lorna.

And make sure everybody knows about it.

(Man) Hey! Come back here, you.

Hey, come here.

Rudy! OK, little lady, are you coming quietly...

Rudy! ...or do I have to slug you?

I'm the President of the Santa Monica fan club. Rudy's expecting me.

I've got a letter. I'm invited.

Not in his private bungalow, you're not.

Oh, Rudy! Let go of that door I say!

That Marsha's crazy about you. What's she like?

I've never met her.

Oh, yeah?

Honestly and truly.

Like you truly wanted to rehearse the love scene in the lunch break?

Oh... I never dreamed that this could happen.

I mean, with all the women that you must have, not to mention your wife, I mean.

You know, I'm not gonna accept another date all week, just so I can lie in bed and remember this.

All the others will just be silly memories.

I just won't be able to stop thinking about this moment.

Confess. Have there been many others, Lorna?

They don't count.

I often dream of you when I'm with another man.

It doesn't bother you, does it, the other men I mean?

All women are meant to be loved, Lorna.

You've just been getting too much.

All those starlets and God knows how many fans.

Not to mention your wife.

Hurt me. Don't be gentle.

Imagine you're the Sheik on your big white stallion, crushing life out of me in your arms.

Don't be gentle. Hurt me.

Do something.

Look! Look! Look! It's the desert.

Close your eyes.

Trust me, honey, I've been over this a thousand times.

It's the desert.

Merciless, blazing sun.

Heatwaves shimmying from the purple dunes.

My lip is rimmed with sweat.

Perspiration. Excuse me. You're welcome.

The clothes are sticking to the contours of my damp body.

You come riding up. You reach down, and with one bronzed, rippling arm scoop me into the saddle.

Faster and faster we ride.

Your strong hands tear my limp bodice to shreds.

Steel fingers groping my thighs, pawing at my swollen breasts, plunging it into me now with a sharp crack of leather as the riding whip cuts into my flesh.

Thundering hooves and groaning leather until... Rudy...

Rudy! Rudy!


I am... spent.



You were so wonderful. I think I'm gonna die.

Not now, Lorna. We're going to be late for work.

Well, Sidney.

Well, Rudy? Let's go.

Aren't we waiting on Mrs Valentino?


Let's go. That's great.

We can pick it up from where we left off.

You hear a noise behind the door, and you get off...

No! Let's do the love scene all over again.

It was far too mechanical, and I think Lorna and I can improve on it now.

We sure could, lover.

Maestro, make with the music.

E mo/to appassionata!


(J' PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY: Overture from "Romeo And Juliet")


What's the matter?

It's not over Lorna, is it?

The U.A. contract.

George was spelling out the small print.

That's a very good deal, Rudy. It's half a million dollars a year.

And I'm not even allowed past the studio gates.

The bastards! Natasha, for God's sakes!

They're merely saying that your presence won't be required during any stage of the production. That's all.

But that's impossible!

Damnit, Rudy, I've been fighting it for weeks! Now U.A. is adamant.

We don't need United Artists. We don't need anyone.

We'll make The Fa/con ourselves.

Without his help.

E ora basta!

Well, if you were to mortgage this house, these art treasures, your cars, and all your horses, you'd still be a million dollars short.

You should have stuck to Vaudeville!

You're nothing but a small-time hustler who's mismanaged our affairs from the start.

Now it's perfectly obvious you're trying to break up our marriage.

You wanted the U.A. deal in the first place. We were damn lucky to get it.

There's not a producer in this town who'll let you on his set.

Those are the people who built this business.

And they're not gonna let a woman tell them how to run it.

She wanted a clause giving her the right to play the female lead... even direct!

We were doing fine until she started howling for the moon.

(Door slams shut)

Hollywood's killing me. You know that, don't you?

After Beaucaire there's nothing to keep us here.

Ajug of wine, a book of verse, thou beside me in the wilderness.

I'm too old for beach-combing.

Beach? You can't grow anything on a beach.

What do you mean? I've still got my diploma of agriculture.

What's to stop us getting that orange grove?

Produce the Valentino Seedless Navel together?

I would hope that destiny had promised us a richer fate than that.


...we shall see.

Meselope, what is our destiny to be?

Are we to seek new horizons for our endeavours?

Are we to continue working together?

We're to stay in films but work separately?


(Crowd outside) You... ...are the spirit that moves the universe.

You... ...are the song that makes the day.

You... ...are the waves that soothe the sand.

You... ...are the giving hand.

You... ...are the magic of a touch.

You... ...are the peace...

Quick, before it's too late!

You... ...are the mystery of night.


Are we to work together?


Are we to remain together working?

Are we? Are we?


Are we?

Shall we be together?

Yes! Of course we shall, Natasha. Please, stop.


Please! Free us!

Release us.

Let us go.

Let us go.

Natasha, please stop!



...are the power of religion.


Natasha! Think about us!

"Us"? It's not "us", it's you.

Listen to them. They think you're God.

Can't you just forget them?

Not any more than they could forget about you.

- L'll quit. I promise. Quit?

It's gone too far for that. You're not going anywhere.

Listen to them!

You... ...are the thrill of surrender.

You... ...are the fount of all pleasure.

I could show them. I could make a film.

That's it! Who cares what Meselope says?

We'll do it together, just like before.

No! I could make a film. Fine, fine.

L'll arrange anything you need.

I just want us to be together.

It'll be all right. We'll be together.

Just as soon as who they think you are is gone - then we can be together forever.

But we are together now. Natasha, please.

You... ...are my vision of heaven.

I'll turn their heaven into hell.

You... ...are the food of love.

L'll ruin their appetite for it.

You... ...are the dream that intoxicates.

L'll slap them sober with the truth.

Natasha, please. Do you love me?

Just say you love me.

You love me.

Jesus Christ!

Aren't you just?

You... ...are my life eternal.

You... ...are my friend, my love.

(Natasha) The winds of destiny tore us apart and drove us along different paths.

But though his lips will never touch mine again...

...I can still embrace his spirit through Meselope.

Don't worry, me/yushka.

Other lips await you in your young life.

Lips you loved touching you before, huh?

Lips you wouldn't listen to when they warned you all this would happen. No?

Perhaps that is true.

I only know there will never be another Valentino.

There will never be one even remotely like him.

Dye vushka. ..

He was a God.

(J' RICHARD WAGNER: "Bridal Chorus" from "Lohengrin")

(lndistinct shouting)

Those who buried Caesar have now come to praise him.

If only you'd told me how sick he was.

Why didn't you tell me?

What could you have done?

He wouldn't listen to me. He wouldn't listen to his doctor.

Have you ever tried to stop a man from committing suicide?

He wasn't committing suicide, George, he was fighting for his life.

For Christ's sakes, June. It was a crazy dream.

Very moving performance.

It was terrible.

I feel sorry for her. Well, palsy, don't worry about it.

Like they say in the sticks, if it's good enough for the hicks, it ain't for the slicks.

I'll find a taxi.

Hey, George. Yeah?

I would like to walk.

I'd prefer that you got to bed early, so that you're well-rested for that premiere tomorrow, Rudy.

Every newsman this side of Kansas City is going to be there.


Playing Son Of The Sheik - is that news?

Well, it's good publicity for the picture.

Oh, it'll do all right.

Yeah, but a personal appearance once in a while doesn't hurt anyone, you know?

Have you got the reservations for the sleeping car?

Yes, don't worry.

We leave for Hollywood on the Superchief right after the reception tomorrow night.

I'm just an anxious to get back as you are.

But not for the same reason.

No, and that's why it's more important that you see your doctor instead of Natasha.

She's not there anyway.

After the way she dressed that stupid actor up to look like you and then crucified you, no way is she going to be there.

This time you are wrong, George.

I'm not going back to Natasha.

I'm going to buy my orange grove at last.

Oh, yeah? Oh, yeah.

Oh, hi! Oh, Christ!

Wanna have a good time?

Which one? Oh, I can handle two at once.

I got the sockets if you got the plugs.

I envy you, Madam.

I myself don't seem capable of sustaining even one effort for very long.

What's the matter, baby? Got the blues?

Mama knows a pretty swank speak just around the corner.

George, I want a drink.

Rudy, the only spigot you're supposed to be tapping is attached to a cow.

Who are you - his wet nurse or something?

Hi, Buzz. Got a couple of rich relatives from outta town.

Well, that'll be $25.

Great, we're just in time for the show. Hi, girls.

All right. Frank, grab that one for us.

Come on, sit down.

J' Oh, Rudy, what have you done to the U.S. male?

J' We liked him better when his cheeks were pale J' You turned him into a Sheik, a freak J' Slave bracelets, let's face it, make us shriek J' Oh, Rudy, oh, Rudy, oh, what have you done?

J' I can't have me any more fun J' I might as well become a nun, oh, oh, oh J' Rudy, what have you done?

J' What have you done to the U.S. male?

J' We liked him better when his cheeks were pale J' We hate him now he uses talcum powder J' Liked him better when his clothes were louder J' Gee, I guess I ought to take a powder from Rudy J' The pink powder puff J'


They do this sort of thing all the time.

Get some hot poop out of the paper, turn it into a tune.

You should've seen what they did with that monkey trial...

What does she mean about the paper, George?

It was nothing, Rudy. An editorial.

Some small-time hack trying to make a name for himself, doing a hatchet job for the Herald - nobody ever pays any attention to that.

Don't worry about it, huh? Rudy!

' Rudy!

You stay put and pay the tab, buster.

Stronzo! Merda!

How dare this insect insult me like that?

Guy's not worth a second thought. Forget him.


I shall make him eat his words. l'll challenge him.

For Christ's sake, we don't fight duels in America.

I don't intend to fight a duel. I'll meet him in the ring.

That's ridiculous. You're in no condition to fight.

Ridiculous. I'll tell you what is ridiculous, George - that I should be born into such a time when a machine is invented that can turn a man who wants only to be a farmer into some kind of a God.

That people can stand in line for hours to sit in some dark room to see me flickering past their eyes.

They fall in love, they destroy your marriage, they tear you to shreds or else ask why I wasn't quietly drowned.

Millions of people who never met me, never heard me speak.

That's what is ridiculous.


L'll cancel the reservations.

To the man who wrote an editorial headed "Pink Powder Puff" in the Sunday Herald.

Your editorial is a scurrilous personal attack upon me, my race, my father's name.

You cast ridicule upon my Italian ancestry.

You cast doubt upon my manhood.

I call you in return a contemptible coward and challenge you to meet me in a boxing arena to prove in typical American fashion, for I am an American, which of us is a better man.

Hoping to have an opportunity to demonstrate to you that my wrist under a slave bracelet...

...may snap a real fist into your sagging jaw.

I remain, with utter contempt, Rudolph Valentino.

Er... thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, the exhibition is now over.

Thank you.

Hold it, fellas, hold it.

Keep your notebooks out. Rory O'Neil, New York Evening News.

The man who wrote that article is in a wheelchair, he's so old.

So, I accept your challenge on his behalf.

And on behalf of all clean-living, red-blooded Americans.

(Applause, cheering)

(Man) You tell 'em, Rory. (Crowd) Yeah!

Thanks, Rory. Reserve a front row ticket for me.

I wanna be there, Rory, when you land the knock-out punch.

Yeah, my boy!

He'd be more at home with duelling pistols and swords, wouldn't he, Rory?

Whatever he wants is OK by me.

I will meet him with the weapons of his choice.

How about powder puffs at twenty paces, Sugar?

You must forgive Mr Valentino.

His sensitivity, gentlemen - he has a very important premiere today and besides which his health is not... George!

Hold it!

I apologise. This is the wrong time and place.

Get your hands off me.

I don't need any help from your kind.

I'll see you in the ring.

And God help you!

(Man) I can't wait to write this one up.

Well, you've done it now, sluggo, you've just challenged the ex-heavyweight champion of the Navy.

(J' Dancehall music plays)

Damnit, Rudy. We've been set up.

We're the victims of a cheap publicity stunt by the News.

Now, let's call the whole thing off. That's just what they want.

"Valentino ducks fight." Can't you see the headlines?

What the hell is going on?

What kind of madness is this?

Ullman! Ullman!

I want you to get Rudolph dressed and get him out of this place, and not just now, but immediately!

Go away, Joseph.

This is none of your business.

So, it's none of my business?

Listen, the publicity is going to ruin you, The Son Of A Sheik, but more important - me!

I'm gonna warn you, Ullman - get him down, and get him out of here.

Don't you think I haven't been trying to do that, Mr Schenck?

For Christ's sakes, it's too late now. Then it's too late for the both of you.

I consider this a contravention and an infringement of our agreement, so either you call off this whole business, or both you and your contract are null and void both separately and collectively.

So, go tell your client he's hereby suspended.

You're making a big mistake, Mr Schenck.

Let him go, George. That suits me fine.

I have no intention of making more pictures anyway.

After this I'm going back to California. I know, the orange grove.

(J' Fanfare)

(J' "The Star-Spangled Banner")

Ladies, gentlemen, and others,

we are presenting tonight a dancing contest.

I'm sorry, I mean a boxing contest, comprising of three three-minute rounds between Mr Rory O'Neil, heavyweight champion of the Navy at 216 pounds in the red corner, and Rudy Valentino of Hollywood at 155 pounds in the pink corner.

Now, when the bell rings, I want you to come out of your corners fighting.

Fight clean, and may the best man win.

Oh... Hey!


Look out, Rory, he's behind you. Ooh!

Powder puff lover.

(Referee) One...

Hey, ref, that's a foul.

...four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.

Rory, the great lover hit me.

Oh, this is... Goddamnit!

No, don't let him clinch you.



(Crowd chanting) Rory! Rory...!

(Bell rings)

Hey, get out! Get out of here!

Filthy son of a bitch!

(J' Dancehall music plays)

(Crowd chanting) Rory! Rory...!

Do you want to ruin his face?

For Christ's sakes, George, throw in the towel.

If you do, you are through. And if I don't, you're through.

Now use your right. Set him up with your left and then give him the right.

I didn't know you were a boxing fan, June.

I just heard about it on the radio... on the radio, for Christ's sakes!

Rudy, don't you see what a farce this is?

You've got the wrong script, June Mathis.

This is a matter of honour.

I think you're doing swell, champ. Give him hell.

Thank you, madam. It is nice to have someone in my corner, rooting for me.

Oh, God! Rudy, please. Attaboy, Rory.

Attaboy, champ.


Oh, my God!

One, two, three...

(Crowd chanting) Rory! Rory...!

One, two, three, four, five...

(Crowd chanting) Rory! Rory...!

Hey, Rory, bring him over here.

May I have the pleasure of this dance?

Music, Maestro!

(J' Orchestra plays tango)


(Fan) Don't let him do that to you. Come on out.

Get him out of here.

Get him away!

For Christ's sake, look at his face.

Oh, Rudy, please. Oh, Rudy, please stop it.

Don't worry about a thing, champ.

That big rummy's so out of breath, he's growing gills.

Why don't you beat it, lady?

You want us to borrow your broomstick, toots?

Let me...

Let me call it off.

You can do it, champ.

Wanna give up, pretty boy, before I muss your hair?

Oh, that's it!

One, two, three... four... five, six, seven, eight... nine.

Oh, come on, champ.

That's it! That's it! Oh...

Madam, permit me to complete your dance card.

Yeah! Ooh!

(Laughs) We did it!

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

(Bell rings)

(I Music plays)

We made it. Come along, June.

(Crowd) Rudy! Rudy! Rudy...!

That's my boy!

That's my boy!

My boy!

I love you. I love you like you were my own son.

You can have whatever you like. You can write your own ticket.

- I'll see you on the lot. Hey, no hard feelings, huh?

Have a drink. Oh, no.

No, he's celebrating with milk tonight.

Milk? Hey, what's that for? His complexion?

It's for my teeth. Oh, yeah, of course, I forgot.

You use powder for your complexion.

He's more of a man than you'll ever be. Is that so?

Well, here's another challenge.

He managed three laps round the dancefloor - let's see how many rounds he can go before he takes a dive in Kelly's Speakeasy.

Come on, O'Neil.

He's beaten you once tonight, and with this right...

It's all right, George. l'll accept.

Right! See you there in thirty minutes.

You mean that big gorilla beating you half to death wasn't enough?

You want to finish it yourself? Well, don't look for me at ringside.

Why? What do you mean? What does George mean?

Do you know the way to Kelly's Speakeasy?

What does George mean?

He's finished!


Excuse me.

Hey, champ, how about a word for the press?

Tell those cowardly hatchet men that by the outcome of these contests tonight,

this American has vindicated his honour and his manhood.

J' For he's a jolly good fellow J' For he's a jolly good fellow J' For he's a jolly good fellow J' Which nobody can deny J' Which nobody can deny J' Which nobody can deny J' For he's a jolly good fellow J' For he's a jolly good fellow I want these maniacs to get out.

J' For he's a jolly good fellow... J'

I'll see you later.

J' 0 Sole mio J' Sta 'nfronte a me!

J' 0 Sole mio J' Sta 'nfronte a te!

J' Che bella cosa J' Na jurnata'e'sole J'

(J' RICHARD DAY LEWIS: "There's A New Star In Heaven Tonight")

J' There's a new star in heaven tonight J' That will never fade from our sight J' There's a new star at home J' In that far starry dome J' Shining down on his loved ones tonight J' There's a voice singing, "Lead, kindly light"

J' With a smile that has made the world bright J' Valentino, goodbye J' But way up in the sky J' There's a new star in heaven J' Tonight J'