Posts Tagged ‘Rudolph Valentino’

Alfred Hitchcock directs Nita Naldi in The Mountain Eagle (1926)

July 31st, 2014

Alfred Hitchcock arrived in Munich in late September 1926 to start work on The Mountain Eagle, his follow-up to The Pleasure Garden (1926) as arranged by Michael Balcon for Gainsborough Pictures.

Based on a story called Fear O’God, it starred the American actress Nita Naldi and British actor Malcom Keen and was filmed in the Emelka studios in Munich and on location in Obergurgl in the Urz valley, the highest village in the Austrian Tyrol.

When Naldi arrived she was dark, Latin, slinky and glamorous, with four-foot heels and long nails. Dressed in black with a black dog to match, she called the elderly Barclay ‘papa’. She was also ‘cynical, irreverent, bawdy, often undisciplined, and far more intelligent than she let on and she never took herself too seriously’.

Playing against type as a straight, unsophisticated heroine. Naldi had been typecast in the past as a femme fatale vamp and had made her name with John Barrymore in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1920) and then with Rudolph Valentino in Blood and Sand (1922) and DeMille’s Ten Commandments (1923). At the time she was taking an extended vacation in Paris with her companion, the wealthy James Searle Barclay, Jr, who was twenty-four years her senior and whom she would later marry.


Alfred Hitchcock directs Nita Naldi in The Mountain Eagle (1926)

Alfred Hitchcock directs Nita Naldi in The Mountain Eagle (1926)


Hitchcock found her to be an amusing woman, bizarrely at odds with her statuesque screen presence and despite her protests transformed her to match the demure and plain character she was to play. They remained friends and when Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville married in December 1926, they spent some time in Paris with Nita Naldi before spending the rest of their honeymoon in the Palace Hotel in St Moritz.


London’s Hollywood: The Gainsborough Studio in the Silent Years 

Published 15th July 2014

A detailed look at the British Silent Film industry with this first ever evaluation of the history, output and achievement of the most iconic film studio in England during the silent era. 

Available in the following formats:

Hardback, £27, ISBN 9781909230132

Paperback, £14.99, 
ISBN 9781909230101



Amazon Kindle ebook, £8.99, 

ISBN 9781909230125

Apple ebook, £8.99, 
ISBN 9781909230118 (Through Apple / iTunes – search for title on iTunes bookstore)