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Geraldine Farrar

A real opera diva as well as a film star, Geraldine Farrar brought a freshness and enthusiasm to both media. She was also not afraid to get down and dirty for her art--witness the drubbing poor Jeanie Macpherson receives in Carmen. She started at the top in films, working on several with Cecil B. De Mille. She is a fine Carmen, and her Joan of Arc, though obviously not a teenager, is convincingly strong and committed, with a harrowing death scene. She moved over to Goldwyn Studios in 1919 (with her new production company, called, appropriately, Diva Pictures). We are fortunate that more than half of Farrar's fifteen films survive. When informed that her films were no longer making money, she obligingly tore up her contract and returned to the opera stage.

On the Web

The Internet Movie Database filmography

The Silent Ladies photo gallery

Reprints of several contemporary articles on Farrar, and excerpts from her autobiography "Such Sweet Compulsion," on The Silent Film Bookshelf

Finding aid for the Geraldine Farrar Collection at the Library of Congress

Review of Joan the Woman on Silents are Golden.

Information on Gerry from Opera Shop.

Wikipedia article

Gerry's entry in Stars of the Photoplay (1916)

A "Short list" of Geraldine Farrar postcards on Historic Opera

Silent Films Available on Video

Carmen (1915)
Available from Image Entertainment (DVD)
Joan the Woman (1916)
Available from Image Entertainment (DVD)

Further Reading

Farrar, Geraldine. Such Sweet Compulsion New York: Greystone Press, 1938 (reprinted in 1970)

Lahue, Kalton C. Ladies in Distress.South Brunswick and New York: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1971. p. 88-97.

Unsung Divas

©2001, by Greta de Groat. All Rights Reserved

Last revised November 27, 2008