/> Alla Nazimova
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Alla Nazimova

Nazimova is enjoying something of a renaissance these days, but this latter day interest is focused more on her sexual orientation than on her unique film career. She entered films in 1915 in the critically acclaimed, but now lost anti-war film War Brides. She appeared in a series of films for Metro playing a variety of types, though critics usually referred to her screen persona as "bizarre" and didn't always find her choice of roles appropriate. Most of these films are lost. She demanded and received more artistic control of her films and produced some extraordinarily stylized films which were hated by contemporary audiences. She hired talented designer Natasha Rambova for Camille (1921) and Salome (1923), two of the most unusual films ever to come out of Hollywood. The foremost interpreter of Ibsen in the theatre, it is unfortunate that her own production of A Doll's House (1922) does not survive. She went back to the theatre where her talents were more appreciated, returning to Hollywood in the late 30s in distinguished character roles.

On the Web

Alla Nazimova
by Jennifer Horne, in the Women Film Pioneers Project

The Silent Ladies photo gallery

Nazimova, from "Some Notable Personalities of the Silent Era."

Nazimova and the Garden of Alla

Deutsches Filminstitut profile (in German)

Glen Pringle's Silent Star of the Month feature on Nazimova.

Portraits of Nazimova from The George Eastman House.

Nazimova's entry in Stars of the Photoplay (1924)

Review of Salome from Silents Are Golden

Silent Films Available on Video

Camille (1921)
Available from Nostalgia Family Video
Salome (1923)
Available from Image Entertainment
(DVD) This is the complete tinted George Eastman House print. If you've only seen the truncated version that was formerly available on video, this is a huge improvement.

Further Reading

Lambert, Gavin Nazimova. New York: Knopf, 1997.

Golden, Eve. Golden Images. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2001: p. 114-117.

Franklin, Joe [and William K. Everson].Classics of the Silent Screen. New York : Citadel Press, 5th ed., 1971 (originally published 1959): p. 207.

The following Nazimova films are thought to exist:

An Eye for an Eye (1918) at Gosfilmofond
Toys of Fate (1918) at Czech Film Archives
The Red Lantern (1919)at Gosfilmofond
Madame Peacock (1920)--Incomplete at the Cinematheque Royale, Belgium,
Stronger Than Death (1920)at George Eastman House, plus Turner
Camille (1921)at George Eastman House
Salome (1923)at George Eastman House

The Lambert book also implies that the following exist--not confirmed:
an episode of "Screen Snapshots (1919)
the trailer for "The Redeeming Sin (1925)

Also, existing is a trailer for Madonna of the Streets (1924), and a brief clip from My Son (1925) can be seen in a Warner Bros. Passing Parade short from the 1930s which airs occasionally on TCM.

Unsung Divas

©2001, by Greta de Groat. All Rights Reserved

Last revised November 11, 2011