Combustible Celluloid
 

Dark Lover, by Emily Leider

Review by Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino, by Emily Leider

The excellent biography "Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino" (Farrar Straus & Giroux, $35) by San Francisco's own Emily Leider is now in bookstores. One of the first big stars of the silent screen, Valentino appeared in such films as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Son of the Sheik, Blood and Sand and only lived to see age 31. But his piercing eyes and slightly forbidden demeanor contributed to a legacy that completely changed the way we view sex and cinema in this country. Meticulously, exhaustively researched, Leider -- who has also published a volume of poetry -- beautifully fills in any remaining blanks with her own vision. Absolutely essential reading for silent film fans.

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