If you have peered through some of my writing, you should know that I am a huge fan of Pola Negri. I know that barely any humans remember her or know her. She was a talented-born actress and I feel that her films, other than Sumurun and The Wildcat, should be more widely available to audiences all over the world, such as me. It’s uplifting that prints of some of her lesser known films still survive in film archives and are shown in festivals every now and then. That’s just grand except that I don’t have the resources to attend those gatherings or visit those museums. Wouldn’t it be lovely to just easily find a Pola film in your local video store or wherever they sell movies these days?
Here are the Pola Negri films I think should be more globally distributed and easier to find:
*Update: I’ve seen most of these by now.
I wasn’t in Europe when the movie went on tour. It’d be a nice surprise if this restored version (IN ENGLISH!) could have its first DVD release.
2. Forbidden Paradise
I keep reading of how this is Pola’s most significant achievement in her silent pictures. Sadly, I can’t find it anywhere. They have a copy of it in New York but I can’t really fly there at this time of my life. I long to watch this one since this was directed by Lubitsch. Their collaborations are the best of them all.
3. The Spanish Dancer
It was shown in Frisco two years ago but back then I could not attend. I found a copy of it with bad quality. Should this be made available in DVD format? Why, yes, it should. Antonio Moreno is a cutie with long hair.
4. A Woman of the World
Ok. maybe this one isn’t as hard to find as the others above….but I still cannot easily find it in places. Ah, this is when Pola’s looks defined her role in the 20’s. She was very sassy and voluptuous in this one! It’s also reputed to be one of her best performances…
5. Bella Donna
I have a little relic from this movie. I thought it was lost. Pola’s looks in this one seem as if her garments in Sumurun and Carmen blended together. Glad I would be to watch this surely.
I found VHS copies of most of her German talkies in a shopping website but they were all strictly in German. To this day I cannot watch the film without wondering what the hell she sings or is saying. It looks respectfully dramatic; I’ll buy that because it was a real tearjerker for Hitler, one of the biggest jerks I can think of. If this is released with English subtitles, I’ll be glad and sing along. I’m not watching the Kay Francis remake because I don’t have enough patience.
7. Tango Notturno
Yeah, this is where her signature song comes from. The tunes in this one are catchy to the point that you want to get up and move your bottom. I don’t do that but I do Pola’s hand gestures and sing along. I can’t really find this one either, aside of the VHS tape. Maybe a digipak of her German talkies should be released.
8. A Woman Commands
Wow, she’s with my gorgeous Basil Rathbone in here. This was her first talkie and I guess it popularized her singing voice for a while. In reality, the film was considered a flop and some simpletons made fun of her thick accent. I can’t find this one in many places….I found one copy in the web but it sold quickly. I want to actually see her sing “Paradise”. I’ve only heard the tune in a Pola CD I bought.
Yes, good lord, yes! Pola’s earliest surviving film! I’ve been wanting to see this one for a long time. I loved when Pola played adolescents in her early days because she herself resembled one. She’s so perky and childish that you just want to pinch her cheek! I saw maybe fourteen minutes of this movie from this clip I saw. That is a great deal of footage because the length of this film is forty-eight minutes. Yes, yes. I know that this was released in DVD format in the Pola Negri Iconic collection. I cannot find that one either but it doesn’t matter. I already own most of the films featured. Anyway, Bestia should be released individually. DVD format if possible.
This really matters to my interest in so many of its facets. It’s a serious issue I am aware of. My favorite actress is not acknowledged for her actual talents and her films remain abandoned or are released into the world every four years. If you look some of these films in the web, you mostly find photographs and summaries but no copies. Why can’t these be made easily attainable for us to watch? Being obsessed with an unappreciated silent actress is hard.