Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I just had the coolest dream. I should be working on proofing the 2007 Combat! fanzine right now, but I need to record this dream before it fades into the ether.

In the dream, Johnnycake, Mom, and I were swimming in this giant swimming pool at some hotel. It was at night, and we were the only people in the pool, which was bigger than Olympic-sized and surrounded by all these bushes and things on the two longer sides. It was inside like a green-house sort of glassed-in edifice. Mom, of course, was sticking to the shallows by the broad steps that led down into the pool on one of the shorter sides. And on the other short side they had a big-screen TV that changed via a waterproof remote near where Mom was hanging out. So she channel-surfed for a bit until she found some TCM-like channel that was showing a Rudolph Valentino movie.

This is where it gets really good. Because I got to swim around in a giant pool and watch a brand-new Rudy movie. In the dream, I had seen it before and kept having to explain plot points to Mom and Johnnycake, as it was kind of an incomplete print (like what survives of The Young Rajah). But it was a Rudy movie that was never in real life made, because... it was a talkie. And Rudy was older in it, probably in his 40s, getting these distinguished little smile-wrinkles around his mouth and eyes and looking devilishly handsome as usual. Obviously, this movie couldn't have ever been made, as Rudy died before reaching 40 and before the dawn of talkies.

Anyway, one of the cool things about the movie is that I actually remember the plot right now! I have no idea what it was called, but in it, Rudy played one of his rather usual characters, sort of a rich playboy with no real job who likes to pick up cute chicks and have eyebrow-raising flings with them. The costumes were all 1930s, rather than his usual 1920s, in keeping with it being a talkie and him being in his 40s. And the plot revolved around him pursuing this reckless young girl who had just arrived in Hollywood and was making a name for herself as a big flirt and also as a rising young star, as she'd been discovered by some movie producer and made this big smash movie. I clearly remember a scene involving a big Hollywood party where she's having a grand old time and he's sort of watching from the sidelines, chatting and smiling with a couple acquaintances but keeping his eye on her and obviously plotting how and when to make his move. Now, the girl is accompanied to Hollywood by this old maid aunt who's supposed to be her chaperon and spends most of the movie making scary faces in close-up and warning the girl not to make a fool of herself, not to talk to worthless older-man playboys like Rudy, etc. Actually, I don't remember her talking at all, just the scary warning faces she'd make that sort of implied all the rest of it.

So of course, Rudy pursues the girl, who is all young and carefree and they do the usual stuff like go picnicking and sailing and horseback riding, always trying to evade the old maid aunt. And of course, Rudy actually falls in love with this girl, instead of just dallying with her and discarding her as has been his wont in the past, but right about the time he figures this out, and before he can declare his true feelings to the girl, she leaves him and starts running around with this nancy-boy actor she's making her next movie with.

Cut to some great brooding scenes with Rudy sitting alone at a table in a little posh bar. Could have used a few more of those scenes, they were lovely. So finally he gets all determined and smouldery and storms onto the set of the movie, past the furious old maid aunt who thought they were well rid of him, and tells the girl just exactly how he feels about her, and that he's leaving Hollywood because he can't bear to be there without her and going back to Italy where he belongs. At which point she, of course, throws herself into his arms and declares her love for him, and that the whole reason she came to Hollywood was because she'd read about him in glamour magazines and thought he was a despicable womanizer, so she came here to meet him and teach him a lesson, but now that she's in love with him, she can't bear to do that, and will he ever forgive her, etc. Which necessitated putting on some thick black-rimmed glasses rather like mine, for some reason, which prompted Rudy to put on the cutest pair of little wire-rimmed specs. And so, defying the old maid aunt, they climb into Rudy's car and go driving off the set and into the glorious future.

And just before "The End" could be scrolled across the screen, our phone rang and woke Cowboy and me up. But I know it was the end of the movie anyway, so all is okay.

And the other best part of this dream? Hello? Talkie! I got to hear Rudy talking! With this lovely smooth baritone voice with the most delicious Italian accent, about as thick as Antonio Banderas' Spanish accent in some of his earliest American roles. Understandable, but oh-so-very-Italian. I've never heard Rudy's voice in real life, as there's only the one recording of it that I know of, but I did dream about him once before, and this was the same voice he had in that dream. And also the one he has in my imagination ever since that first dream (which was much shorter and involved Rudy making his first talkie and me being the script girl who had to keep prompting people with their lines).

So yes, delicious dream. Love all the detailed, lengthy, memorable dreams I've been having while pregnant, they're quite cool. Woke up in the best mood after that dream, singing "S'Wonderful" in my head cuz I think it was playing in the background at the end of the movie. What a great start to a night off, huh?

Okay, time to actually go work on proofing the C! fanzine for a while now.


  1. I know this is an older post, but I wanted to comment. Sounds like a swell dream; it certainly would have been interesting to see what a Valentino talkie would have been like. Would he possess that same mystique he had in silence?

    I once dreamt about Buster Keaton's The General being a part talkie with scenes of Buster cussing for some reason and then having a group of tourists on his engine.

    1. I've long wondered about what his career would have been like had he lived longer. Would audiences have found his accent and voice as compelling as his silent face? Or would they have been been put off by the accent?

      That would be some unusual additions to The General! Aren't dreams awesome?


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