L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Two great "Latin Lovers" of the silent screen - one born, one fabricated - Moreno and Cortez

Antonio Moreno
Ricardo Cortez


Antonio Moreno (September 26, 1887, Madrid – February 15, 1967, Beverly Hills), born Antonio Garrido Monteagudo, was a popular matinee idol by 1915 and remained so throughout the Twenties.  When sound came in, his heavy accent proved a handicap.  He turned to directing and made several popular films in Mexico, then returned to the States and transitioned into character parts.  He went on to have 151 screen credits.


Ricardo Cortez (September 19, 1900, New York City – April 28, 1977, New York City), born Jacob Krantz to Jewish parents, was an amateur boxer and worked on Wall Street before turning to acting.  By the mid-Twenties he was a popular leading man and transitioned easily when the "talkies" arrived.  Later, as his career wound down, he retired from films and returned, successfully, to Wall Street.  His screen career totaled 102 films.


Trivia:  Ricardo Cortez starred with Greta Garbo in her first American film, The Torrent, in 1926.  He was her first and last co-star to have his name above hers in the title credits.  Garbo always had top billing after this, her first film.  As to Cortez' faked Spanish origins, when rumors started up that he wasn't what his name implied, the studio tried to put it across that he was actually French, before finally making the "admission" that he was really born in Vienna.

Antonio Moreno starred with Greta Garbo in her second American film, The Temptress, also in 1926.  After a considerable amount of footage was exposed, the film's director, Garbo's mentor Mauritz Stiller, was fired and the film entirely re-shot.  Many extant stills from The Temptress are actually from the aborted version, showing Garbo in different costumes and Moreno without a mustache.

Moreno, sans moustache, with Garbo in a scene not repeated in the second version of The Temptress.

Mauritz Stiller directing Garbo and Moreno in the unfinished first version of The Temptress.

A rather racy scene from the completed film.

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