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Blood and Sand

Blood and Sand(1922)

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Home Video Reviews

There are movie stars and then there's Rudolph Valentino. His popularity was so huge that Valentino is still practically a household name even in an age when most silent film actors are forgotten. His legend is kept alive by the stories about his abrupt rise to fame, creation of the modern star image, the screaming mobs at his funeral, the mysterious visitor to his grave and so many more. Fortunately his films remain worth seeing and none more so than Blood and Sand (1922). now available in a wonderful DVD version from Kino.

Blood and Sand features Valentino as a toreador in love with two women. The movie has been available on video before but never in this quality. The DVD was recently mastered from a 35mm archival negative and includes scenes not in previous versions (even the earlier Kino videotape). There's a new score by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra and a wealth of goodies that you can only find on DVD. For starters, it has an introduction by Orson Welles that includes clips of other Valentino films. You can also see the original trailer, newsreel footage of Valentino's funeral, an essay on the source novel, an article by Valentino himself from a fan magazine, and even a 1924 Will Rogers parody. It's quite a treat for any film lover.

There have been a few other Valentino films released earlier on DVD, though rarely with any extras. Kino also offers The Son of the Sheik (1926), the familiar and much-parodied desert romance. Image Entertainment put out one of Valentino's earliest films, The Married Virgin (1918) which also included footage of Valentino's funeral and an excerpt from Eyes of Youth. You can also catch Cobra (1925) where Valentino is a count torn between friendship and romance. For more information about Blood and Sand and The Son of the Sheik, visit Kino International. For more information about The Married Virgin and Cobra. visit Image Entertainment, Inc..

By Lang Thompson