God, I love Pola Negri. Not in a romantic sense….but just for the person she was. The artist who suffered but still did so well at her vocation….
I’ve never seen Nacht der Entscheidung (Night of the Decision). I very much would want to. The thing is that Pola’s German talkies aren’t really available in any media, except VHS, which is in German. That is why I really hope that one day these movies get released in DVD format with English subtitles.This one looks very interesting. I mean, look at her. She exudes some sort of divine excellence even I can’t fully analyze. She is cheering up that girl. She also does that to me.
Oh dear, this was her last movie that she made under with UFA, the movie industry in Germany. This was 1938 and six of the movies she made between 1935 until that year had no Nazi propaganda even though they were begging her to. That idiot Goebbels hated her. He wanted to get her banned after Mazurka because she had a Jewish secretary named Paola. Hitler, however, prevented this from happening because he loved her in his own obsessive ways. He watched Mazurka when he suffered from insomnia and he would cry. O-o-okay.
Anyway, soon after Pola finished making that movie mentioned in the beginning, things started to get more serious with the Nazis. She was loved by them. Pola never sympathized Nazism. Ever. She called Hitler a monster. They were already suspicious of her because on her father’s side she had Slavic ancestry and maybe was part Jewish….Yeah, Pola had to leave there. While shopping in France, she had been startled by a bomb raid and that’s when she realized that she had to get the hell out of Europe. She told the UFA guys she was going on a short vacation to France and she had to hurry, which means she had to leave all her jewels, furs; all the accessories that expressed her luxury. When she started taking long, the UFA people went all the way to France to tell her to come back. They found Pola sitting on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, telling them she was ill. This was not true and she even got false documents declaring her momentary illness. Oh lord. I think she ended up losing her contract but who would keep on working with those dickheads? Of course, she probably was short of money already and would be if she hadn’t found work….
Pola escaped Europe on ship from Lisbon to Ellis Island. America didn’t offer her a lot of work. She wasn’t that young anymore and they typecasted her as an aged prima donna actress.
But I don’t care that American movies chose younger actresses over Pola. She was still incredible throughout her whole life. She was a remarkable person. As you can hear from here, she also had a touch for music. Her being was bristled with talent.