Sunday, February 27, 2022

Madam Valentino in Spanish

The story of Michael Morris', Madam Valentino is fraught with difficulties. As beautiful as the book is, issues were many and Michael had to fight for his rights over the book. His first agent signed a contract with a clause Michael was unaware of which assigned the book's film rights to the publisher, Abbeville Press. This clause was in effect as long as the book was in print. It would then be possible for Michael to buy the film rights.

To avoid the book being out of print, Abbeville extended its technical availability by publishing the book in Spain. At the time Michael did not have the ability to protest the Spanish version of Madam Valentino.

The Spanish version was published in 1999 with a banner reading, “Natacha Rambova, The Woman Who “Created” Rudolph Valentino.” It was translated by Angela Perez and dedicated to her grandmother.

Publisher Circe Bolsillo issued the book as a small, black and white version which Michael was never able to proof or edit, because he did not speak Spanish. The book represents a rather unhappy aspect of Madam Valentino's history.

Eventually the film rights were available, and Michael bought them from Abbeville. He fired the first agent and had a few more over the years. At one point we shared the same agent.



13 comments:

  1. When did Michael finally acquire the film rights? Did he ever investigate the possibility of developing his book into a film? I have come to believe that at this point, no one would be willing to put serious money and muscle behind a theatrical film about Valentino or Rambova. The Valentino themed pieces that get released on YouTube are amateur vanity projects (including the ghastly “Silent Life,” which will remain in production purgatory forever). Most refreshing for its weird daring, wild imagination and flair was the American Horror Story reinvention of Valentino and Rambova as vampires. But even that project, now 7 years old, doesn’t appear to have triggered additional interest in the couple.

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  2. Michael did have a writer develop a screenplay but it was very bad. He signed a option with them which he got out of thanks to our agent in common. This was about 2004-2005. I am not sure when he got the rights but it was some time around 2000. The screenplay writer recently said they were going to market their work anyway and this was handled/shut down by Michael's executor.

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  3. I just saw somebody posting a photo on MAB with their Valentino books collection and it includes "Madam Valentino"and "Beyond Valentino". I Wonder if they are going to leave it there or if they remove it. Hopefully they Will have The common sense to leave it, as no matter how much they try to censor anything about your books or Michael's, people find out about these well documented books and buy them.

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    1. I hope they also permit mention and discussion of Professor Aurelio Miccoli's great books. His research in local archives is unparalleled. It is ludicrous that giant egos and efforts to control a false narrative about Valentino can prevent people truly interested in his life from discussing new work and discoveries.

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    2. Sorry, actually it was WNF and I saw they removed The post shortly afterwards.

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    3. Well none of them can pretend to be defenders of Michael Morris or even truly care at all about Valentino or Rambova. There is so much incredible information in Beyond Valentino that Michael was so eager to share. Thanks for sharing that and point well made. Shameful on the part of the administrators of We Never Forget. I guess they should change the name of that group to "We Always Forget Valentino's Truth".

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  4. It's amazing that the title of the book could be changed without the author's permission. Does Fr. Morris' estate still own the film rights?

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    1. It is amazing they could even publish that version without Michael's full consent.

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  5. Just eerie that Terhune (or his lackeys Hill and Eash) removed a post showing a member’s book collection on WNF! Terhune’s reading comprehension and speaking skills clearly place him in the lowest 10% of the population, and yet, he dares to posit himself as an arbiter of books. Madam Valentino and Beyond Valentino are beautifully written and unmissable for anyone with a sincere interest in Valentino and Rambova. Both books dig deep and consider aspects of the lives of their subjects that cannot be found anywhere else (check out the Amazon reviews for Beyond Valentino!). Terhune, Hill and their compatriots stand for nothing more than their sub mediocre selves. Personally, I would rather read Natacha’s fascinating essay on Spain in the 1930s or view photos of her gorgeous jewelry collection (available only in Beyond Valentino) than listen to Hill prattle on repulsively about her visit to Falcon Lair decades after it had been overhauled by Doris Duke and nary a trace of Valentino had been left. Hill has been dining out on that vignette for 30 years and it’s gotten very, very old.

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    1. When Michael passed away he was rushing to finish his Beyond Valentino. And truthfully it was a difficult challenge for me to complete the work. I had to reach out to all of the contacts he made and tell them the news. I will say every single one was stricken with the news of his death and eager to help me see it completed. He was close to finishing it and it was more a gathering of the materials on my part. I was devastated to see that the VSC poseurs were daring to say it was not Michael's work. It is entirely. "Prattle" indeed from those who feign a deep interest in Valentino. "Valentino's Truth" is not for sale, not about censorship of quality material and shame on them for removing mention of Michael's work. #boycottWeNeverForget #boycottMadAbouttheBoy

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  6. It is astounding that these soulless people genuinely believe that their tepid output and freak show crypt memorial is worthy of public exposure and promotion but Michael Morris, Evelyn Zumaya and even George Ullman for God’s sake are to be suppressed.

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    1. And it is further astounding that these "soulless people" target Renato, myself, Aurelio Miccoli, Michael Morris, Ullman, Rambova and even Valentino with their malice. Their clandestine campaign is more transparent by the day as they openly suppress information.

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