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HISTORY

The FD review and other sources list the film's title as What Price Beauty? . As noted in contemporary news items, What Price Beauty , which was filmed in May 1925, was not released until Jan 1928 and never widely distributed. Natacha Rambova, who wrote and produced the film, was married to 1920s screen icon Rudolph Valentino from 1923 to early 1926. Many news items about the production referred to Rambova as "Mrs. Rudolph Valentino."
       What Price Beauty was touted in the press as the first of many films to be produced by Rambova, but it was the only picture she produced. According to various contemporary and modern sources, cost overruns and other difficulties plagued the production, which was financed by Valentino. While trying to find distribution for the picture, Rambova and Valentino separated, then divorced a few months prior to his death on 23 Aug 1926.
       According to a 4 Mar 1928 NYT article and other sources, a claim of over $45,000 was successfully made against Valentino's estate by his executor, S. George Ullman, for money advanced to Valentino for the production of this film. Ullman was Valentino's manager, as well as Rambova's, according to the article. Events surrounding the production of What Price Beauty were incorporated into the 1977 biographical film Valentino , starring Rudolf Nureyev as Valentino and Michelle Phillips as Rambova.
       According to various contemporary news items, after seeing actress Myrna Loy in a Los Angeles stage production, Rambova personally selected her for the role of "The Vamp" in What Price Beauty . The picture marked ... More Less

The FD review and other sources list the film's title as What Price Beauty? . As noted in contemporary news items, What Price Beauty , which was filmed in May 1925, was not released until Jan 1928 and never widely distributed. Natacha Rambova, who wrote and produced the film, was married to 1920s screen icon Rudolph Valentino from 1923 to early 1926. Many news items about the production referred to Rambova as "Mrs. Rudolph Valentino."
       What Price Beauty was touted in the press as the first of many films to be produced by Rambova, but it was the only picture she produced. According to various contemporary and modern sources, cost overruns and other difficulties plagued the production, which was financed by Valentino. While trying to find distribution for the picture, Rambova and Valentino separated, then divorced a few months prior to his death on 23 Aug 1926.
       According to a 4 Mar 1928 NYT article and other sources, a claim of over $45,000 was successfully made against Valentino's estate by his executor, S. George Ullman, for money advanced to Valentino for the production of this film. Ullman was Valentino's manager, as well as Rambova's, according to the article. Events surrounding the production of What Price Beauty were incorporated into the 1977 biographical film Valentino , starring Rudolf Nureyev as Valentino and Michelle Phillips as Rambova.
       According to various contemporary news items, after seeing actress Myrna Loy in a Los Angeles stage production, Rambova personally selected her for the role of "The Vamp" in What Price Beauty . The picture marked the first screen acting role for Loy (1905--1993), but because of the film's long delayed distribution, by the time that it was released the actress had appeared in numerous films. Her pictures from 1925--1928 were mostly for Warner Bros., the studio to which she went under contract after completing What Price Beauty . A 9 May 1925 LAT news item added John Steppling to the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been verified.




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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Tribune
21 May 1925
p. 21.
Film Daily
22 Jan 1928.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 May 1925
p. A9.
Los Angeles Times
17 May 1925
p. 32.
Los Angeles Times
8 Jun 1925
p. A2.
Los Angeles Times
25 Jul 1925
p. A2.
New York Times
4 Mar 1928.
---
New York Times
21 Aug 1925.
---
Pittsburgh Press
16 Jun 1929
p. 90.
Reading Eagle
3 Mar 1928
p. 2.
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 January 1928
Production Date:
May 1925 at United Artists Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Pathé Exchange, inc.
Copyright Date:
18 January 1928
Copyright Number:
LP24880
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
4,000
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A vamp competes with Mary, a country girl, for the attention of John Clay, a handsome young manager of a beauty parlor. He wavers between the two attractions but at last succumbs to the lure of the country girl's natural ... +


A vamp competes with Mary, a country girl, for the attention of John Clay, a handsome young manager of a beauty parlor. He wavers between the two attractions but at last succumbs to the lure of the country girl's natural beauty. +

GENRE
Genre:


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.