Archives for March 2012

Rudy and the Critics

My contention is that what critics had/have to say about Rudy’s body of work and persona, either during the 1920’s or now, is irrelevant. The proof is in the pudding, and Rudy is quite a good cook! Indeed, his films are still thought of as ‘must-sees’ for those who love silent films and his luster as an icon of love has not dimmed. In fact, I would say that of late it grows stronger, given the spate of Rudy-related books, rare photos, and new DVD releases that have come to light ~ especially during the past 10 years, and with more on the horizon.

That said, the people who have seen his films know the truth and, therefore, will not be influenced by anyone’s jaundiced eye or attempt to be snarky. Rudy was a wonderfully nuanced actor, who fully owned every part he inhabited. For that is what he did in front of a camera, imbue them with soul! Did he ever go general in his roles? Sure, when the script and/or Director called for it. But if you look carefully, there are gems in each one, when his character projects incredible luminescence and touches everyone’s heart.

I think there were even flashes of brilliance in his pre-1921 films as he brought freshness to whatever formulaic plot he was involved with ~ for example, in the two films he did with Carmel Myers.

Audiences always trump the critics. And Rudy continues to be one of the most talked-about and viewed stars of all time. In the meantime, I continue to be astounded by the large number of Rudy photos and Rudy-related posts that appear on Facebook, sometimes on a daily basis! Now, if only someone would find a copy of “Uncharted Seas” or “A Sainted Devil” languishing somewhere in a vault!



The purpose of photography is to capture energy in motion. Can this ever be accomplished? Only to the degree we think it can. The fact is that nothing ever stops vibrating. Snap-shots, therefore, simply reflect an attempt on the part of an individual to grab hold of the vibrational field that was extant at the time the photo was being taken. Even the vocabulary is interesting, take, these days, also being used as a noun.

Especially when documenting the lives and times of their fellow men and women, photographers often find themselves splitting infinitives right down the middle, that is to say, catching their subjects in mid-stream. Indeed, it is their wont to seek out unguarded moments while peering at us through a lens. In so doing, they are able to reveal certain aspects of our personalities while also catching the occasional whiff of soul, wafting skyward like smoke from a lit cigarette.

In Hollywood I was frequently caught on film, not only in movies but in thousands of still shots, many taken specifically to be distributed to the news media or mailed to fans. In them, you ask, was my soul able to make itself known?  In a word, yes ~ many times over. That is why some of you still find my photos intriguing ~ not because of who I was or what I once did. To this day, ma gueule (my mug) decorates any number of public places. Soul-full photos, just like soulful eyes, always have something to say, never going out of style.

The best photos are often the result of both photographer and subject being as relaxed and worry-free as possible. In such circumstances, an ease develops between the two, making it even all the more possible for beauty to hold sway.” ~ R. Valentino Guglielmi




“Balance is probably the most important concept in the Universe. Not the same as equilibrium, however, which is much more temporal and fleeting. Balance is a fuller word, an end in and of itself. (Addressing the author) You, Libra, know a thing or two about this state of being, a desired state, in fact, the most desired state, always being sought. Teeter-Totter; to get there we must stand between the dimensions, one foot in each. This is nirvana when it can be accomplished, bliss when we reside in both planes

That is what our book (“Going for Excelsior”) is about, getting to balance, becoming more alert to our opportunities to live in two worlds simultaneously. Why not? It can be done. I do it a bit myself when we write, also at other times, like when you have seen glimpses of my form. Balance necessitates an agility not unlike what is required in dance ~ always shifting your weight as conditions change, coming down harder on one side versus another ~ as warranted. And it’s not just a matter of having your feet in two dimensions; the figurative face can be inserted in either very easily. I do it, for example, to watch what you are writing, also to witness the joy that comes from our being able to communicate in this manner. ~ R. Valentino Guglielmi



New e-Book: “Going for Excelsior”

What if you were as savvy as you could possibly be in matters of aging and, therefore, really soar, breeze through the final chapters of your life with flying colors? The ‘senior’ experience, through only the most constructive and creative of lenses! The art of encountering the Apex.

Going for Excelsior offers practical suggestions for successfully negotiating Seniorhood, a blueprint for active living ~ how to embrace where you’re at in your life, find hidden gems, turn up the voltage. Thriving in Seniorhood is about going beyond what’s expected or being directed at you by the host society and this book provides the reader with the tools and understandings to accomplish that goal ~ new age thought at its very best!


Conundrums solved. The sting removed from such phenomena as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Myths about Seniors debunked. These are only a few of the benefits that can be derived from reading this book which, hopefully, will serve to stretch your consciousness, something that’s rather elastic to begin with in every stage of life.

‘Seniorhood’ ~ Where people often like to perceive us, once we have attained a certain age. Also, where we can choose to thrive, with clarity of purpose ~ and by design!

“Like all those who currently inhabit a body, you, too, are getting ready for Excelsior. Especially allow the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond of your ages to be magical in this regard, for you to be way-showers, preparing yourselves mentally, physically and spiritually for the next phase. There always is a next phase, by the way, and we are always getting ready for it. You are part of a grand design as am I. There is no other option!” ~ Rudolph Valentino

(Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood is now available on




LA’s Million Dollar Theater

I was reminded of the number of riches Angelinos have when I visited LA this
past weekend. By chance, I got to see the inside of The Million Dollar Theater.
Fairly well-preserved, impressive, not too ornate and a bit exotic. Of late,
UCLA has been showing classic movies there on Wed nights so do go if you have
the opportunity (Pershing Square stop on the subway.) As Emily Leider pointed
out in her book, Dark Lover, “The Son of the Sheik” had its LA premiere at the Million
Dollar and Rudy made a personal appearance on opening night, one of his last.

Rudy apparently went to the Egyptian Theater (built in 1922) on Hollywood
Boulevard a fair amount, especially given that it was so close to his home in
Whitley Heights. Although modified over the years, the interior still sports
vestiges of the original Egyptian design elements and is well worth a visit.

It’s my understanding that Rudy also went to the Vista, at Sunset Junction on
Sunset Boulevard, (built in 1923) at least a couple of times. That theater has
fully restored its Egyptian decor and is a really fun venue. Still shows first
run films, and “The Artist” was playing there recently. How perfect is that?