Monday, May 10, 2021

The Emotion Machine

The marketing of the Sheik was and still is a bit of a carnival side show. From the first attempts by theater owners to fill every seat for every showing (see below) to the outright hype written to amuse and titillate, the inanities about Rudolph Valentino have by and large always been the inventions of those merchants/snake oil salesmen. I contend they still are.

It seems Valentino is still subjected to merchants and their inanities. As silly as the “Emotion Machine” seems now, today a Valentino, “Emotion Machine” would have to include a great deal more emotions than W. E. Paschall's hand made gadget. But I do not think it much of a stretch... to envision a sort of attraction such as this at the annual crypt ceremony hosted by one Tracy Terhune.

When posters advertising movies are wedged against Valentino's final remains/crypt and Tracy Terhune dispenses a chance to wear Rudy's ring for a few moments as a prize.... it really does take on an air of side show for me. You can almost hear the gong hit the bell and the side show barker call out another winner.

Gimmicks, hype (nice word for lies), merchandise... all a part of marketing Valentino then when this article appeared in The Moving Picture Magazine on February 4, 1922 and incredibly still a part of the marketing of Valentino today.

“Step right up ladies and gentleman... for what you are about to witness will amaze and mystify!”