Thursday, June 23, 2022

"Butterfly!"

From pp.117-118 in The True Rudolph Valentino, I share Baltasar Cue's narration of the first encounter between Pola Negri and Rudolph Valentino. He describes the events as they took place in the Biltmore Hotel, during a gala organized by Pola in honor of British author, Michael Arlen. This passage takes place just after Rudolph and Pola danced together and after they retired to a private sitting room:

"Rudolph was so thrilled with this first intimate encounter with Pola Negri, he began to sing his favorite tunes. Sitting on the floor, at her feet, this man so admired by millions of women all over the world, sang and sang to the delight of the no less admired woman. She, from the height of her narcissism, listened to him sing joyfully, much as a Queen receiving a tribute which she had long, longed for and which had been very difficult to realize.

He sang "Little Princess" with special care and as the lyrics were timely in that circumstance, he sang it translated from the Spanish. Pola felt she had finally arrived at the height of the triumph hearing those lyrics pronounced by the lips of the beautiful, manly and proud Rudolph, whose words to her after his song were,

"Little Princess. . . Butterfly! ... Look at the man who sighs at your feet! . . Love the one who would die leaving you! ... Kiss me!”

Around three in the morning the three cabbed to Pola's bungalow at the Ambassador Hotel. In the cab, Rudolph, seated between the two women, placed his virile arm around Pola, therefore, in a gallant gesture."

The third party was the woman Cue refers to as "the Latina". Did we ever determine who that might be? 

5 comments:

  1. I have contemplated who "the Latina" could be. It would have to be a friend of Negri's, but I think the answer lies in the name. Mae Murray and Marion Davies were both close to Negri, but what does "the Latina" mean in regard to either one?

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  2. It is funny how people's feelings towards each other change in a relationship because in S.G. Ullman's memoirs about Rudy George walked into Pola's house as Rudy was yelling at Pola calling her a Bitch. I guess it was an off again-on again romance.

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  3. Not a smooth relationship.

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  4. I think there were some heated coast to coast phone calls, also.

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  5. Valentino was used to the cool demeanor of Rambova, as well as the more reserved bearing of his other lady friends. I think Negri was just too volatile a personality for him. While that characteristic probably had a certain charm about it, in the end, it just didn't suit him.

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