Composer-film and stage producer William Perry (centre) with two leading scholars of the Peter Warlock Society, Robert Beckhard and Malcolm Rudland.
Says Perry, “The Society is located in England, and I have been for many years the President of the North American Chapter. Warlock, whose real name was Philip Heseltine, was a minor but celebrated English composer (1894-1930), and influences from his music sometimes turn up in my work.”
Hope you enjoy this first clip, the musical interlude before the first you tube installment of The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show 1 – coming soon. 🙂
This is the full scene featuring the famous Argentine Tango from Valentino (1951), starring Anthony Dexter and Patricia Medina. Dexter, a virtual lookalike to the real Rudolph Valentino, was a dancer in real life. Unlike today’s refined “ballroom tango,” this tango makes use of a whip in the opening and closing moments, and Dexter is wearing real spurs. The original tango was often passionate and savage, and evolved in the barios of South America in the mid to late 1800s. It eventually became a popular salon dance in Victorian society.
No other tango sequence has matched the brilliant choreography found in this scene from the 1951 film. It has never yet been recreated for any other film or in live performance. The dancing part of the scene was likely filmed in one take, using a number of cameras for the angles and kinds of shots.
In mid-dance, Anthony Dexter as the gaucho appears to pull a few unrehearsed moves, and the surprise can clearly be seen on Patricia’s face. As good a dancer as he was, Dexter was able to bring all the steps together with perfect timing, and they concluded the dance with another unique and original move, ending with a kiss.
Anthony Dexter as Rudolph Valentino
Eleanor Parker as Joan Carlisle / Sarah Gray
Richard Carlson as William ‘Bill’ King
Patricia Medina as Lila Reyes
Joseph Calleia as Luigi Verducci
Dona Drake as Maria Torres
Lloyd Gough as Eddie Morgan
Otto Kruger as Mark Towers
The song, considered to be the tango of all tangos:
(Included on the film’s soundtrack, released on LP.)
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The film Valentino (1951) is in the public domain. It is offered for sale at lovingtheclassics and other online DVD shops.
Composer William Perry for many years has been a driving force in seeing silent films re-emerge as small screen and special venue entertainment.
His popular The Silent Years series (1971 and 1975) on PBS were hosted by Orson Welles and Lillian Gish.
In the 1980s, TV productions on American Playhouse and Great Performances featured actresses Lillian Gish and Butterfly McQueen, and actors Christopher Makepeace, Bernard Hughes and a young Christoph Waltz . In the film featuring Waltz in an early role, The Mysterious Stranger (1982), Perry conducted his own score with The Vienna Symphony and the Vienna Boys Choir in Austria. (The scores would be issued on Perry’s “The Innocents Abroad and other Mark Twain films” CD.)
As a composer of film scores and creator and producer of stage musicals such as the long-running Mr. Mark Twain (and which should soon see a revival on a smaller scale), Perry has and will continue to compose internationally themed major works for orchestra and soloists.