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Pola Negri

Pola Negri is most famous for her annoying publicity--her hysterical scene-stealing at Valentino's funeral and her supposed feud with Gloria Swanson alienated her public, and the American fan magazines had it in for her from the moment she entered Hollywood. All this has obscured the fact that she was a superb actress with a body of excellent films to her credit.

Beginning in Polish films, she became an international star of the German cinema, appearing most notably in the films of Ernst Lubitsch. Pola was not a conventional beauty, and her earthy character and uninhibited acting was something new in films. Hollywood claimed her and tried to glamorize her, but beneath her now haughty and often witty exterior lurked naked emotions, threatening to burst out when the going got rough.

Pola Negri is surely one of the joys of silent film.

On the Web

The Pola Negri Appreciation Site

Bio on Golden Silents

The Internet Movie Database filmography

The Silent Ladies photo gallery on Pola Negri

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

Denny Jackson's Pola Negri page

Eve Golden's Classic Images article

Entry on Pola Negri from the Handbook of Texas Online

Negri's entry in The Blue Book of the Screen (1923)

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

Review of Barbed Wire on Silents are Golden.

Review of Gypsy Blood on Silents are Golden.

Review of One Arabian Night on Silents are Golden.

Review of Passion on Silents are Golden.

Review of Hotel Imperial on Silents are Golden.

Silent Films Available on Video

Czarna ksiazka (US: The Yellow Ticket) (1915)
Available from A private collector
Carmen (US: Gypsy Blood) (1918)
Available from Grapevine Video (DVD)
Die Augen der Mumie Ma (1918)
Available from Grapevine Video (DVD)
Madame DuBarry (US: Passion) (1919)
Available from Grapevine Video (DVD)
Sumurun (US: One Arabian Night)(1920)
Available from Kino Video (DVD)
Die Bergkatze(1921)
Available from Kino Video (DVD)
The Spanish Dancer (1923)
Available from Nostalgia Family Video and other public domain dealers
Woman of the World (1925)
Available from Grapevine Video (DVD)
Hotel Imperial (1927)
Available from Grapevine Video (DVD)
The Woman he Scorned (1927)
Available from Grapevine Video (DVD)

“Pola Negri: Life is a Dream in Cinema, a documentary on Negri by Mariusz Kotowski
Available from Bright Shining City--the site includes a great trailer for the film.

Further Reading

Negri, Pola. Memoirs of a Star. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1970.

Basinger, Jeanine. Silent Stars. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999: p. 202-263.

Florey, Robert. Pola Negri : ses debuts, ses films, ses aventures. Paris : Jean Pascal, 1926?. (Les Grands Artistes de l'Ecran) Cover Image (thanks to Joop van Dijk for this scan)

Franklin, Joe [and William K. Everson].Classics of the Silent Screen. New York : Citadel Press, 5th ed., 1971 (originally published 1959): p. 208-209.

Golden, Eve. Golden Images. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2001: p. 118-123. Also available online (see Eve Golden's Classic Images link above).

Negra, Diane. "Immigrant Stardom in Imperial America: Pola Negri and the Problem of Typology," in Jennifer Bean and Diane Negra (eds), A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002) (previously appeared in Camera Obscura 16.3 (2001) 159-195)

Tak, Max. Pola Negri: die Groote Kunstenaars van het Witte Doek.. Amsterdam: Scheltens & Giltay, 19??. Cover Image (thanks to Joop van Dijk for this scan)

Unsung Divas

©2001, by Greta de Groat. All Rights Reserved

Last revised October 15, 2010