Friday, May 17, 2013

Ramón Novarro

How can I express the monumental crush I have on this lost silent star?  I have feverishly scoured the net for weeks looking for scraps about him, a YouTube video here, another photo there, a gif.  I have The Flying Fleet, special ordered from TCM.  I bought one biography (there are two) and it sits on my shelf, portently, like sorbet, waiting to be devoured.  He was gorgeous - but I do realize that gorgeousness is a very personal thing - it is relative, like exchange rates and chocolate with raisins, or without. You may not agree.  Such is the nature of an obsession.

I won't go into specifics.  He was beautiful, and at the height of his powers.  His style waned, he was dropped by MGM (which he helped rescue) and slid into alcoholism and old age.  His murder in 1968 brought him briefly back into the papers. His sensationally lurid end has besmirched his antique fame.  He is now largely forgotten, as most silent stars are in this multimedia world. Pity.

There is a great line from The Prime of Miss Jean Brody with Maggie Smith.  She asks her class who the greatest Italian painter is and one of the girls answers, "Leonardo Da Vinci, Miss Brodie." "That is incorrect," she says.  "The answer is Giotto.  He is my favourite."

His murderer, Paul Ferguson



Upton King said...

I remember seeing photos of him in a film history book at my high school library. If Barbara La Marr was 'the girl too beautiful', then he, was the male equivalent. - Uptonking from Wonderland Burlesque

Starched Collar said...

Wow, Upton, you know about La Marr! Hat's off and I agree. Also, K. Anger is a liar :)

Martin Turnbull (the Garden of Allah novels) said...

Those are some great shots. If you're a Ramon fan - as I am - you might like to read my Garden of Allah novels which are set during the golden age of Hollywood. Ramon features in the first three books.
All the best,
The Garden of Allah novels

Starched Collar said...

Wow! Mr. Turnbull thank you very much! Choosing Nazimova's little enclave as the title of your series is wonderful. As a kid I loved the Marx Bros. (still do) and knew that Harpo lived there for a time... Looking forward to buying your books! Thank you!

Nicco said...

Sad he's mostly known today for that false "death by dildo" story. He was much more and his life was tragic enough without that bizzare invention.

Thanks for remembering him here.

Starched Collar said...

I can always count on thoughtful response from you Nicco, thanks!