Cobra (1925 film)
Cobra is a 1925 American silent drama film directed by Joseph Henabery and starring Rudolph Valentino and Nita Naldi. It is the screen adaptation of the play Cobra written by Martin Brown, which played at the Hudson Theatre on Broadway in 1924.
Still with Rudolph Valentino and Nita Naldi
|Directed by||Joseph Henabery|
|Produced by||Adolph Zukor|
Jesse L. Lasky
|Written by||Anthony Coldeway|
by Martin Brown
Dev Jennings (J. Devereaux Jennings)
|Edited by||John H. Bonn|
Famous Players-Lasky / Ritz-Carlton Films
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|70 minutes / 7 reels (6,895 feet)|
|Language||Silent (English intertitles)|
Valentino plays Count Rodrigo Torriani, an Italian noble. A charming libertine, his weakness is women, who mesmerise and fascinate him – hence the "cobras" referred to in the title of the film, based on the myth that cobras mesmerise their prey.
Roridgo accepts an invitation from friend Jack Dorning (Ferguson) to come to New York City to work as an antiques expert. While the job is rewarding, Rodrigo finds the temptation from the women surrounding him, including Dorning's secretary Mary Drake (Olmstead) and wife Elise (Naldi), challenging.
When Jack is away, Elise says to Rodrigo that she is in love with him. The two embrace and arrange to meet at a hotel. However, after meeting in a room, Rodrigo decides that he cannot betray his friend and leaves the hotel. It turns out to be a fortunate decision; the hotel burns to the ground in the middle of the night, killing Elise.
Rodrigo desperately wants a relationship with Mary. However, after Elise's death, he turns Mary's attentions toward Jack and decides to leave New York. The film ends with Rodrigo gazing out at the sea and the Statue of Liberty as he sets sail back to Europe.
- Rudolph Valentino as Count Rodrigo Torriani
- Nita Naldi as Elsie Van Zile
- Casson Ferguson as Jack Dorning
- Gertrude Olmstead as Mary Drake
- Hector V. Sarno as Victor Minardi
- Claire De Lorez as Rosa Minardi
- Eileen Percy as Sophie Binner
- Lillian Langdon as Mrs. Porter Palmer
- Henry Barrows as the store manager
- Rosa Rosanova as Marie (uncredited)
- Natasha Rambova as A Dancer (uncredited)
The production of Cobra was marred by bickering and soaring production costs. Furthermore, its studio Paramount Pictures, unhappy with the final film and fearing it would flop with audiences and critics, held off releasing it until Valentino (whose popularity had declined somewhat) appeared in a stronger, unequivocally successful picture. Eventually Cobra was released in late 1925, a few weeks after what proved to be Valentino's comeback feature, The Eagle (1925).
- Progressive Silent Film List: Cobra at the silentera.com
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