Cobra (1925 film)
Still with Rudolph Valentino and Nita Naldi
|Directed by||Joseph Henabery|
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)|
Cobra is a 1925 American silent film 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.
Valentino plays Count Rodrigo Torriani, an Italian noble. A charming libertine, his weakness is women – the "cobras" referred to in the title of the film.
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 reveals to Rodrigo that she is still in love with him. The two arrange to meet at a hotel. However, at the last minute, Rodrigo remembers he cannot betray his friend and refuses to go to the rendezvous. It turns out to be a wise 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.
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.
- Rudolph Valentino - Count Rodrigo Torriani
- Nita Naldi - Elsie Van Zile
- Casson Ferguson - Jack Dorning
- Gertrude Olmstead - Mary Drake
- Hector V. Sarno - Victor Minardi
- Claire De Lorez - Rosa Minardi
- Eileen Percy - Sophie Binner
- Lillian Langdon - Mrs. Porter Palmer
- Henry Barrows - the store manager
- Rosa Rosanova - Marie (uncredited)
- Natasha Rambova - A Dancer (uncredited)
- Cobra at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Cobra at the Internet Movie Database
- Cobra is available for free download at the Internet Archive