The Isle of Love

The Isle of Love is a 1922 recut of a 1918 silent drama film Over the Rhine starring female impersonator Julian Eltinge. The film also contained two actors unknown during filming: Virginia Rappe and Rudolph Valentino. The film went through various recuts and rereleases during the 1920s and is generally known for its cast.[1]

The Isle of Love
Film poster
Directed byFred J. Balshofer
Produced byFred J. Balshofer
Written byPaul M. Bryan (scenario)
Thomas J. Geraghty (intertitles)
StarringJulian Eltinge
Rudolph Valentino
Virginia Rappe
CinematographyTony Gaudio
Yorke Films/A Herald Production
Distributed byRepublic Distributing Corporation
Release date
  • 1918 (1918) (as Over the Rhine)
  • May 10, 1920 (1920-05-10) (as An Adventuress)
  • 1922 (1922) (as The Isle of Love)
Running time
39 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film
English intertitles


An island ("The Isle of Love"), run by a power-mad duke, is in turmoil. The peasants plan a revolt, with two buddies, including Cliff (Julian Eltinge), planning to overthrow the corrupt Duke.

Cliff invites his friend Jacques (Rudolph Valentino) to help, though Jacques spends most of his time with his love Vanette (Virginia Rappe). Meanwhile, Cliff dresses up as a female as part of the plan and after much chaos all is well and he returns to America safe and sound.


Release and different versions

The original film was titled Over the Rhine and was an anti German propaganda piece starring Julian Eltinge, a transvestite actor, who was extremely popular at the time. Filmed in 1918 Over the Rhine was shelved without release as World War I ended before it could go into distribution.

Two years later the film was recut and titled An Adventuress. How it was recut is unknown, however, the film was not well received. In 1922, after Valentino rose to fame with The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Virginia Rappe had died in what became a scandal, the film was released once again under the title The Isle of Love.

The Isle of Love featured a poorly spliced-together story, which mostly intended to cash in on Valentino's newfound fame despite his original role being quite small, and also on the fallout from Rappe's death. This led to shots of him being repeated several times nonsensically; and including his character for no apparent reason. The Isle of Love cut is the only version of the film still in existence, and bears little resemblance to the original Over the Rhine storyline. The final cut was a commercial failure much like An Adventuress.

The Isle of Love has yet to be released on DVD or home video, but a complete print of that version survives at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

See also

(World War One Propaganda films)


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