Aileen Pringle by Clarence Sinclair Bull 1923
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This rare footage, from the 1916-17 serial ‘Patria’, comprises the earliest existing film appearance of Rudolph Valentino.
At the time Valentino was only 21 years old, and still far from international fame. In ‘Patria’ he was a mere extra, and although he soon graduated to larger roles, they were generally in low-rent films and often as a stereotypical ethnic villain rather than a romantic lead.
It was not until his small role in the 1919 Clara Kimball Young film ‘Eyes of Youth’ that he was discovered by screenwriter June Mathis and won the main role in her blockbuster, ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ (1921).