“The Hooded Falcon”

Ruminations on “The Hooded Falcon,” the film that Rudy and Natacha really wanted to make but never did:

One of the biggest projects ever, in terms of my former life-time, and it did not come to fruition! What was that all about? This film was a specter, an opium-like dream that Natacha and I bought into. We wanted to elevate public taste, dignify and exemplify, in ways that most Hollywood product of the time did not. “The Hooded Falcon” was to be an exercise in ‘hardiesse’ (daring/boldness/pluck) which is what would have been required to fully make that leap of faith, the one that was necessary for everyone who was to be involved to get on board, to back it 100%. We, meaning primarily Natacha and I, did make a serious effort but got lost in the details instead of starting with a crisp concept, which we thought would evolve by osmosis if we steeped ourselves in drawings, looks and costumes. Natacha liked to work that way and was successful when there was enough meat on the bones, ample flesh upon which she could drape costumes and use to populate sets.

I wanted this role, this picture, to be my masterpiece, a sterling example of all my creative input, as did she, and because we were quite synchronistic at the time, in a sort of harmonic convergence about this property and the reason for its existence and pursuit, we likely would have succeeded in our goals. Conceptually and with the story line, however, there still were gaps when the plug was pulled on the financial side. Could they have been assuaged, addressed, even become attributes? Most assuredly but we did not have the luxury of a bottomless pit when it came to either money or time. Still, the ‘shade’ was raised, the ghost, the vision walked and one day someone with Hollywood blood in their veins may want to dust off the idea and make the film we always wanted to – unfinished business, brought to the attention of a new century! Of course, the star should resemble me, at least a little. Why not? That would be fun! My character was to be a Saracen nobleman, by the way. Ecumenical, there was that element too. This film was intended to inspire and unite, to cause audiences, after the pageantry, intrigue and utter delight, to think a bit more, become themselves ‘of the Light.’ Ecco fatto.” (There you have it.) ~ Rudolph Valentino