Vilma Banky, The Hungarian Rhapsody
According to my amazing Silent Film Calendar, today is Vilma Banky’s 114th birthday. At first I thought, “Happy birthday Vilma Banky!” Then I thought, “Wait a minute… who’s Vilma Banky.”
A quick google, and duh, she’s Yasmin in The Son of the Sheik. Oh, that Vilma Banky!
Poor Vilma, as popular as she was in her day, she’s no Mary Pickford these days. She was very beautiful and very Hungarian, known at the time as “The Hungarian Rhapsody.” She was exotic and beautiful enough to keep pace with the exotic man-beauty of Rudolph Valentino, pairing with him not only in The Son of the Sheik but also in The Eagle. There’s an ugly rumor that Vilma’s thick Hungarian accent abruptly ended her career when the talkies came a knockin’, but there’s ample evidence to suggest she just wanted to quit acting when she married Rod La Rocque. After retirement, she played a lot of golf (0r says wikipedia). Bonus points to anyone who can produce a pic of Vilma swinging a golf club!
Vilma’s career remains fairly well documented with 8 of her films existing in their entirety and 3 as fragments.
1. Tavaszi Szerelem – 1921 (Only a few fragments exist)
2. Der Zirkuskonig – 1924
3. Hotel Potemkin (Die Letzte Stunde)- 1924
4. The Eagle- 1925
5. The Son of the Sheik – 1926
6. The Winning of Barbara Worth – 1926
7. The Night of Love- 1927
8. The Magic Flame – 1927 (Only the first five reels)á9. Two Lovers – 1928 (Fragment)
10. A Lady to Love – 1930
11. The Rebel – 1932/33 (German/English)
You can learn more about Vilma Banky at the fairly comprehensive http://www.vilma-banky.com and you can even buy a bio of Vilma at Amazon. Or you can celebrate by watching The Son of the Sheik on YouTube.
Posted on January 9, 2012, in Genre, Silent Film and tagged Rod La Rocque, Rudolph Valentino, silent actress, silent films, silent movies, Son of the Sheik, the eagle, vilma banky. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.