Hollywood (1980– )
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Swanson and Valentino 

Two great careers are profiled: ambitious and beautiful Gloria Swanson and the tragic Latin lover, Rudolph Valentino.


Episode credited cast:
James Mason ... Self - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Agnes Ayres ... Actress 'The Sheik' (archive footage)
Vilma Bánky ... Actress 'Son of the Sheik' (archive footage)
Viola Dana ... Self
Agnes de Mille ... Self
Allan Dwan ... Self
Douglas Fairbanks ... Self (archive footage)
Rex Ingram ... Self (archive footage)
Paul Ivano Paul Ivano ... Self
Marcus Leow Marcus Leow ... Self (archive footage)
Ben Lyon ... Self
Colleen Moore ... Self
Mary Pickford ... Self (archive footage)
Natacha Rambova ... Self (archive footage)
Joseoh Schenck Joseoh Schenck ... Self (archive footage)




Two of the most illustrious careers of the Silent Era are profiled. Tough, ambitious Gloria Swanson, who fought to get out of Mack Sennett's comic factory, fought for prestigious roles at Paramount with A \-list directors like Cecil B. DeMille and Allan Dwan became one of the most admired and imitated women in America. However, after an unsuccessful marriage to a European aristocrat, she had the bad judgment to leave the prestigious studio and sign with United artists resulting in the unreleasable disaster "Queen Kelly," which badly damaged her career. After Italian immigrant Rudolph Valentino played some supporting roles in the teens, his being cast in "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" and "The Sheik" made him the epitome of the Latin lover and greatest romantic lead in films. After two unsuccessful marriages and fighting rumors that questioned his virility, his meteoric career ended at age 31 with his death from peritonitis. Written by duke1029@aol.com.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Did You Know?


Ben Lyon: [quoting Valentino about his return to Italy] In Italy I was just another WOP.
See more »


References The Married Virgin (1918) See more »


No Place Like Home
Music by Sir Henry Bishop
Lyrics by Howard Payne (1823)
Instrumental version on soundtrack when Swanson returns to U.S.
See more »

User Reviews

Enjoyable though I wasn't quite sure of the connection.
11 October 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

In this sixth episode of the wonderful "Hollywood" series by David Gill and Kevin Brownlow, two silent stars are profiled--Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino. While both were extremely popular, I was a bit confused why the filmmakers picked these two. Yes, they were extremely popular but Swanson was NOT the top female star of the day like Valentino (briefly) was and her career path was very, very different. I could have sooner seen them pick Mary Pickford and Valentino...or perhaps some other pair. But, no matter. The show IS very good and very watchable. And, like all the other episodes, jam-packed with great footage and interviews. Well worth seeing if a bit confusing about the choice of stars.

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Release Date:

12 February 1980 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thames Television See more »
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Technical Specs


(VHS release)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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