Valentino Epic Tangoes onto Academy Screen
Beverly Hills, CA (June 30, 2010) — Touted as a $1,000,000 production in 1921, “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” starring Rudolph Valentino, was among the biggest box office hits and artistically lauded successes of the silent era. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will screen a print restored under the supervision of silent film historians and preservationists Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, with a new orchestral musical score composed by Carl Davis, on Tuesday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The program will be introduced by Brownlow.
The “Valentino mystique” was born in this epic romance directed by visual stylist Rex Ingram. The original press book hailed it as “an epic tale of surging passion sweeping from the wide plains of the Argentine through the fascinating frivolities of pre-war Paris into the blazing turmoil of the German invasion.”
“The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” was shortened for re-release in 1926 to mark Valentino’s death, and was seen in that truncated form for decades. When Brownlow, Gill and their team undertook the restoration work in the early 1990s, they were able to return the film to its original length with its original color tints. Most important, they were able to return the famed tango sequence to its smooth romantic splendor.
Brownlow is widely regarded as the preeminent historian of the silent film era. His books include The Parade’s Gone By; The War, the West, and the Wilderness; Hollywood: The Pioneers; Behind the Mask of Innocence; David Lean; and Mary Pickford Rediscovered. His documentaries include “Hollywood,” “Unknown Chaplin,” “Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow,” “Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius” and “D.W. Griffith: Father of Film,” all with Gill; Brownlow also directed “Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic” and “Garbo,” the latter with Christopher Bird. Most famous among Brownlow’s many silent film restoration projects is Abel Gance’s 1927 epic “Napoleon.”
Along with Valentino, the “Horsemen” stars Alice Terry, Alan Hale, Wallace Beery, Jean Hersholt and Josef Swickard. It was produced and directed by Ingram from a screenplay by June Mathis, based on the novel by Vicente Blasco Ibanez.
Tickets to “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets are available for purchase by mail, at the Academy box office (8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or online at www.oscars.org. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All seating is unreserved.
The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at the 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.
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