Valentino: A Dream of Desire
Rudolph Valentino remains perhaps the most beautiful man ever to have appeared on celluloid. In a career spanning barely seven years and fourteen major films, his name became... and is still... synonymous with unbridled Latin passion.
Whenever his image flickered onto the screen, fans of both sexes swooned, whilst cynics and detractors snorted disapproval. When he died, suddenly, aged just thirty-one, thousands rioted at his funeral and several of his more ardent admirers committed suicide.
In this unique biography of The World's Greatest Lover, David Bret uses much unpublished material to reveal the real Valentino, a man who was sexually attracted only to other men, and whose relationships with women brought only heartbreak and disaster.
However, as Bret discovers, Valentino was far less ashamed of his sexuality than he was afraid of being trapped by the image of his public persona. In 1920s America, homosexual men were stereotyped as feeble, effeminate degenerates. None of these terms applied to Valentino... a big, powerfully-built man who excelled at most sports, boxing in particular. Yet, it was Valentino's persistent need to prove his 'manhood' which contributed to his early death.
Rudolph Valentino is one of cinema's most enduring and best-loved legends. This is his remarkable story.
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