Valentino Filmography: “Moran of the Lady Letty”

Question: what is your favorite film and how do you remember it?

“Actually I had several but will pick one today to discuss that is often overlooked in my lexicon of performances. Paramount wanted a hit so they came up with an offbeat story in the form of Moran. Do you think the title character was written as a lesbian? No, but as a woman doubtful that a man could fulfill her, at least not the kind that frequented her father’s ship. An interesting pastiche, Moran. I had to tip her over, so to speak, make her more supple, encourage her to be open to love. This I did and I stretched in my role as did Dorothy (Moran was played by Dorothy Dalton) in hers. We were pals and conveyed that fact in the scenes we shared. I got her (or rather my character got her) to crack open the door, the one that leads to the heart ~ where passion lies, sweet and artfully constructed. Out of my character’s element too; actually both of our characters were ‘at sea’ by dint of being together, of attempting to be a couple.

I felt carefree in this role, like I did not have to prove a thing. The physicality came easy. I relished the fight scenes, and there was a moral: even odd ducks find love, and tenderness is afoot in the strangest of circumstances. Life-changing events, that’s what took place in “Moran.” Audiences did not appreciate this film at the time but in retrospect we could have improved on some of the details.

Salt of the earth meets a salt of the sea, or playboy meets working girl, a theme as old as the pyramids. There was some sadness too, wistfulness, as both characters are a little out of the mainstream in relation to their peers. Moran and Ramón had that in common. Dandy goes to sea and finds out he loves it, also loves a girl who is rather strange for the most part, definitely not the lacy sort or the landlubbing kind. The villains were fun too, broad strokes. Certainly not a masterpiece yet on some levels instructive, this was “Moran of the Lady Letty.” ~ Rudolph Valentino