Valentino is a 1977 American biographical film co-written and directed by Ken Russell and starring Rudolf Nureyev, Leslie Caron, Michelle Phillips, and Carol Kane. It is loosely based on the life of silent film actor Rudolph Valentino, as recounted in the book Valentino, an Intimate Exposé of the Sheik, written by Chaw Mank and Brad Steiger.


In 1926, thousands of fans mob the wake of recently deceased film star Rudolph Valentino in New York City. When order is restored at the funeral home, a series of important women in Valentino's life come to mourn. Each remembers him via flashbacks: The first of these women, Bianca de Saulles, knew Valentino when he was a taxi dancer and gigolo in New York City, working under a woman named Billie Streeter. Upon meeting him, he shares with her his dream of owning an orange grove in California. After mobsters rob Valentino, he decides he must make the move west. Specifically, Bianca reminisces of a day when she witnessed Valentino romantically dancing with male ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, teaching him how to do the tango.