CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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No Equestrian Workshop... And Rudolf Valentino...

Because the weather took a bad turn today -- and the equestrian event was being held outside for the first time ever -- Marilyn and I did not end up going this year. She had already been outside earlier in the day for an event, which was mostly covered, but still cold. So she didn't feel either one of us -- but especially me -- should be exposed after being so sick.

I was very glad to hear this, because when it started pouring down rain I was for not going (and I didn't even know it wasn't being held inside the usual huge barn (arena) setting!

Earlier today I did something I must admit I've NEVER in my life done before: I actually watched a silent film!

Okay, yes, we do actually have a sanctioned event during the festival that features short silent films created by youth! But these are very short, and the one I watched today was 89 minutes long -- so more like watching a real movie. (smile)

The movie was Rudolf Valentino's "The Conquering Power," (1921) -- based on the 1883 novel Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac, with the lovely actress Alice Terry.

I'm telling you, as I watched it, I finally understood the appeal of the truly incomparable Rudolph Valentino! What a stunningly attractive man he was! I remember as a child hearing my Aunt Mabel go on about him (smile), but the only thing I can ever recall actually seeing with Valentino were bits and pieces of his most famous role as the 'Latin Lover,' in the role Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan in the film "The Sheik."

To be honest, I just didn't get it back then. But today as I watched him, I suddenly did feel his incredible appeal. He was an amazing actor and a handsome and charismatic man. Valentino was the sex symbol of his time!

Interestingly enough, he was frequently put down as not being masculine enough! But heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey who knew him said, "He was the most virile and masculine of men. The women were like flies to a honeypot. He could never shake them off, anywhere he went. What a lovely, lucky guy." But in the 1960's a book was released that claimed he was gay, based on affairs he had with men. That's flimsy, at best, considering the bisexual behaviors of so many actors over the years -- and it's been argued by many people who knew him well. But frankly, what difference does it really make? Women adored the man, regardless of what his sexuality really was...

The most striking thing was his death in 1926 at the age of 31!!! Considering how young he was when he died, it amazes me how many movies he appeared in (more than 30).

I also saw part of another one of his movies today -- and was yet again struck by his good looks and strong appeal. Who'd have believed I could bring myself to sit through a silent film? To be entirely honest, I'm really NOT a fan of silent films...

But if you've never seen one, I'd encourage you to give it a try. They appear quite often on cable TV, so it doesn't require leaving your home to attend a film festival, or trying to find a movie somewhere to rent or buy.

I can't help but wonder if my Aunt Mabel is smiling down from heaven as I write this... She tried very hard to make me see how wonderful Valentino was. And while I've always known and recognized that he was an icon, I didn't fully understand until today!

Tags: 2011, aunt-mabel, cable-tv, equestrian, festival, marilyn, may-2011, movie, silent-film, tv, work

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