Dark Lover [ePub]

by Emily W. Leider

From the author of B"ecoming Mae West"— an in-depth look at the Silver-Screen legend who forever changed America' s idea of the leading man
Tango pirate, gigolo, powder puff, Adonis— all have been used to describe the silent-film icon known as Rudolph Valentino. From his early days as a taxi dancer in New York City to his near apotheosis as the ultimate Hollywood heartthrob, Rudolph Valentino (often to his distress) occupied a space squarely at the center of controversy. In this thoughtful retelling of Valentino' s short and tragic life— the first fully documented biography of the star— Emily W. Leider looks at the Great Lover' s life and legacy, and explores the events and issues that made him emblematic of the Jazz Age. Valentino' s androgynous sexuality was a lightning rod for fiery and contradictory impulses that ran the gamut from swooning adoration to lashing resentment. He was reviled in the press for being too feminine for a man; yet he also brought to the screen the alluring, savage lover who embodied women' s darker, forbidden sexual fantasies.
In tandem, Leider explores notions of the outsider in American culture as represented by Valentino' s experience as an immigrant who became a celebrity. As the silver screen' s first dark-skinned romantic hero, Valentino helped to redefine and broaden American masculine ideals, ultimately coming to represent a graceful masculinity that trumped the deeply ingrained status quo of how a man could look and act.



Back to Top