The Magic of Valentino

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Lisa Cousins » 11/06/11 06:16 PM

John Cox has posted the transcript of my presentation at the 84th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service on his blog.

I know what you're thinking: "John Cox, you say? This must have something to do with Houdini."

It does.

You can find the transcript here:

http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2011/11 ... ntino.html
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/06/11 06:36 PM

I didn't think anyone gave a hoot about Valentino any more!
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 11/06/11 07:01 PM

The Valentino Memorial Service is the longest-running annual event in Hollywood. The Easter Sunrise Service at the Hollywood Bowl started a few years earlier but, although it's currently running, it had been suspended for a few years. The Valentino Service continues unabated, with no breaks since the first one in 1927.

A big part of what sustained it in the earlier decades was the mysterious "Lady in Black" element which drew folks who were curious to witness that strange tableau. The tone of it in the modern era is more of a "history conference" - although there is a Lady in Black to represent that intriguing part of the Valentino myth. The entire history of the event is detailed in "Valentino Forever," which gives a year-by-year overview of the happenings and the "kooks" the event attracts (one of which is now me, obviously). Tracy Terhune, author of the book and one of the organizers of the event, is the grandson of the late cowboy star, ventriloquist, and Magic Castle member Max Terhune.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/06/11 08:24 PM

Never cared for Valentino myself, but I assume his target audience was women. :)

I'll take Lon Chaney, Sr., any day.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/06/11 08:53 PM

Chaplin & Keaton are more my speed.
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 11/06/11 10:39 PM

Valentino is still a felt presence in Hollywood, particularly since the Hollywood High School mascot is "The Sheiks" and there is a large, looming painting of Valentino as The Sheik on their school building.

Patrick Culliton attended Hollywood High in the early 1960's, and he told me that at that time nobody knew who Valentino was, but that everybody had heard of a common drugstore item with that name.

I'm guessing that more people know about Valentino now than they did fifty years ago, thanks to cable television, the VCR/DVD revolution, and YouTube, where you can click into some Valentino footage anytime and swoon for yourself.
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