Pola Negri (/ /; born Apolonia Chałupec, 3 January 1897 – 1 August 1987) was a Polish stage and film actress and singer who achieved worldwide fame during the silent and golden eras of Hollywood and European film for her tragedienne and femme fatale roles.
Negri in 1931
3 January 1897
|Died||1 August 1987 90) (aged|
|Resting place||Calvary Cemetery (Los Angeles), California, U.S.|
Count Eugeniusz Dąmbski
(m. 1919; div. 1922)
Prince Serge Mdivani
(m. 1927; div. 1931)
Raised in the Congress Kingdom of Poland, Negri's childhood was marked by several personal hardships: After her father was sent to Siberia, she was raised by her single mother in poverty, and suffered tuberculosis as a teenager. Negri recovered, and went on to study ballet and acting in Warsaw, becoming a well-known stage actress there. In 1917, she relocated to Germany, where she began appearing in silent films for the Berlin-based UFA studio. Her film performances for UFA came to the attention of Hollywood executives at Paramount Pictures, who offered her a film contract.
Negri signed with Paramount in 1922, making her the first European actor in history to be contracted in Hollywood. She spent much of the 1920s working in the United States appearing in numerous films for Paramount, establishing herself as one of the most popular actresses in American silent film. In the 1930s, during the emergence of sound film, Negri returned to Europe where she appeared in multiple films for Pathé Films and UFA, and also began a career as a recording artist. She made only two films after 1940, with her last screen credit in Walt Disney's The Moon-Spinners (1964).
Negri spent her later life largely outside the public sphere. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1951, and spent the remainder of her life living in San Antonio, Texas, where she died of pneumonia secondary to a brain tumor for which she refused treatment, in 1987, aged 90.
Negri was born Apolonia Chałupec on 3 January 1897 in Lipno, Congress Poland, Russian Empire (present-day Lipno, Poland), the only surviving child (of three) of a Polish mother, Eleonora Kiełczewska (died 24 August 1954). According to Negri, her mother came from impoverished Polish nobility, with her family having lost their fortune over support of Napoléon Bonaparte. Negri's father, Juraj Chałupec (died 1920), was an itinerant Romani-Slovakian tinsmith from Nesluša. After her father was arrested by the Russian authorities for revolutionary activities and sent to Siberia, she and her mother moved to Warsaw, where they lived in poverty, with her mother supporting them working as a cook.
Chałupec was raised Catholic by her mother, who was a lifelong practicing Catholic. In her youth, Chałupec was accepted into Warsaw's Imperial Ballet Academy. Her first dance performance was in the danse des petits cygnes in Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake; she worked her way up to a solo role in the Saint-Léon ballet Coppélia. However, a bout with tuberculosis forced her to stop dancing; she was sent to a sanatorium in Zakopane to recover. During her three-month convalescence, she adopted the pseudonym Pola Negri, after the Italian novelist and poet Ada Negri; "Pola" was short for her own middle name, Apolonia (sometimes spelled Apollonia).
Polish theatre and film
After Negri returned from the sanatorium, she successfully auditioned for the Warsaw Imperial Academy of Dramatic Arts. Alongside her formal schooling at the Academy, she took private classes outside with renowned Polish stage actress and professor Honorata Leszczyńska. She made her theatrical debut before her graduation at The Small Theatre in Warsaw on 2 October 1912. She made her stage debut in 1913 in Gerhardt Hauptmann's Hannele in Warsaw and appeared the following year in her first film, Niewolnica zmysłów. She continued to perform there while finishing her studies at the Academy, graduating in 1914. Her graduating performance was as Hedwig in Ibsen's The Wild Duck, which resulted in offers to join a number of the prominent theatres in Warsaw.
By the end of World War I, Negri had established herself as a popular stage actress. She made an appearance at the Grand Theatre in Sumurun, as well as in the Small Theatre (Aleksander Fredro's Śluby panieńskie), and at the Summer Theatre in the Saxon Garden. She debuted in film in 1914 in Slave to her Senses (Niewolnica zmysłów). She appeared in a variety of films made by the Warsaw film industry, including Bestia (Beast, released in the US as The Polish Dancer), Room No. 13 (Pokój nr 13), His Last Gesture (Jego ostatni czyn), Students (Studenci), and The Wife (Żona).
Ernst Lubitsch and German silent film career
Negri's popularity in Poland provided her with an opportunity to move to Berlin, Germany in 1917, to appear as the dancing girl in a German revival of Max Reinhardt's theatre production of Sumurun. In this production, she met Ernst Lubitsch, who at the time was producing comedies for the German film studio UFA. Negri was first signed with Saturn Films, making six films with them, including Wenn das Herz in Haß erglüht (If the Heart Burns With Hate, 1917). After this, she signed to UFA's roster; some of the films that she made with UFA include Mania (1918), Der Gelbe Schein (The Yellow Ticket, also 1918), and Komtesse Doddy (1919).
In 1918, Lubitsch convinced UFA to let him create a large-scale film with Negri as the main character. The result was Die Augen der Mumie Ma (The Eyes of the Mummy Ma, 1918), which was a popular success and led to a series of Lubitsch/Negri collaborations, each larger in scale than the previous film. The next was Carmen (1918, reissued in the United States in 1921 as Gypsy Blood), which was followed by Madame DuBarry (1919, released in the U.S. as Passion). Madame DuBarry became a huge international success, brought down the American embargo on German films, and launched a demand that briefly threatened to dislodge Hollywood's dominance in the international film market. Negri and Lubitsch made three German films together after this, Sumurun (aka One Arabian Night, 1920), Die Bergkatze (aka The Mountain Cat or The Wildcat, 1921), and Die Flamme (The Flame, 1922), and UFA employed Negri for films with other directors, including Vendetta (1919) and Sappho (1921), many of which were purchased by American distributors and shown in the United States.
Hollywood responded to this new threat by buying out key German talent, beginning with the procuration of the services of Lubitsch and Negri. Lubitsch was the first director to be brought to Hollywood, with Mary Pickford calling for his services in her costume film Rosita (1923). Paramount Pictures mogul Jesse Lasky saw the premiere of Madame DuBarry in Berlin in 1919, and Paramount invited Negri to come to Hollywood in 1921. She signed a contract with Paramount and arrived in New York in a flurry of publicity on 12 September 1922. This made Negri the first-ever Continental star to be imported into Hollywood, setting a precedent for imported European stars that included Vilma Bánky, Greta Garbo, and Marlene Dietrich, among many others. The Hot Dog, a Cleveland monthly publication, in its own promotional advertisement for Paramount in February 1922 claimed Negri's true name was Paula Schwartz, and that she was Jewish, which was completely untrue.
Negri ended up becoming one of the most popular Hollywood actresses of the era, and certainly the richest woman of the film industry at the time, living in a mansion in Los Angeles modeled after the White House. While in Hollywood, she started several ladies' fashion trends, some of which are still fashion staples today, including red painted toenails, fur boots, and turbans. Negri was a frequent photography subject of Hollywood portrait photographer Eugene Robert Richee, and several photographs of her were taken during this period.
Negri's first two Paramount films were Bella Donna (1923) and The Cheat (1923), both of which were directed by George Fitzmaurice and were remakes of Paramount films from 1915. Her first spectacle film was the Herbert Brenon-directed The Spanish Dancer (1923), based on the Victor Hugo novel Don César de Bazan. The initial screenplay was intended as a vehicle for Rudolph Valentino before he left Paramount and was reworked for Negri. Rosita, Lubitsch's film with Mary Pickford, was released the same year and happened to be based on Don César de Bazan. According to the book Paramount Pictures and the People Who Made Them, "Critics had a field day comparing the two. The general opinion was that the Pickford film was more polished, but the Negri film was more entertaining."
Initially Paramount used Negri as a mysterious European femme fatale and a clotheshorse as they had done with Gloria Swanson and staged an ongoing feud between the two actresses, which actor Charlie Chaplin recalled in his autobiography as "a mélange of cooked-up jealousies and quarrels." Negri was concerned that Paramount was mishandling her career and image and arranged for her former director Ernst Lubitsch to direct her in the critically acclaimed Forbidden Paradise (1924). It was the last time the two worked together in any film. By 1925, Negri's on-screen continental opulence was starting to wear thin with some segments of the American audience, a situation parodied in the Mal St. Clair-directed comedy, A Woman of the World (1925), in which Negri starred.
In 1926, Negri starred in The Crown of Lies and Good and Naughty, the former of which earned an unfavorable review in Photoplay magazine, which deemed it an "impossible Pola Negri vehicle. If you have nothing else to do—see this and suffer with Pola." Paramount transitioned into casting Negri in international peasant roles the following year in films such as the Mauritz Stiller-directed and Erich Pommer-produced Hotel Imperial (1927), in an apparent effort to give her a more down-to-earth, relatable image. Although Hotel Imperial reportedly fared well at the box office, her next film Barbed Wire (1927) and a number of subsequent films did not, reportedly due to negative publicity about her behavior at Rudolph Valentino's funeral (she fainted few times and cried exaggeratedly) and her rebound marriage to Georgian prince Serge Mdivani, although her films continued to fare well internationally. Negri defended herself, saying: "It is difficult for a foreigner coming to America...I had been told so much what not to do. It was particularly difficult for me, a Slav. My emotion seemed exaggerated to Americans. I cannot help that I haven't the Anglo-Saxon restraint and tact."
In 1928, Negri was directed by Rowland V. Lee in three films (The Secret Hour, Three Sinners, and Loves of an Actress), before making her last film for Paramount Pictures, The Woman From Moscow, with Norman Kerry. Negri claimed in her autobiography she opted not to renew her contract with Paramount, choosing to retire from films and live as a wife at the Château de Rueil-Seraincourt, near Vigny, where she had married her second husband. She owned the château at the time. The same year, her short volume featuring reflections on art and film, La Vie et Le Rêve au Cinéma (lit. English: Life and Dreams of the Cinema), edited by Albin Michel, was published.
Later films; return to UFA
Negri's initial 1928 retirement turned out to be short-lived. Negri miscarried her pregnancy and later learned that her husband was gambling her fortune away on speculative business ventures, which strained their relationship. She went back to acting when an independent production company offered her work in a British film production that was to be distributed by Gaumont-British. Initially the film was to be a filmed version of George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra, and Shaw offered to alter the play to suit the film. When the rights proved to be too expensive, the company settled on an original story and hired German Kammerspielfilm director Paul Czinner to direct. The resulting film, The Way of Lost Souls (also known as The Woman He Scorned), was released in 1929; it was Negri's final silent film.
Negri returned to Hollywood in 1931 to begin filming her first talking film, A Woman Commands (1932). The film itself was poorly received, but Negri's rendition of the song "Paradise," the centerpiece of the film, became a sizable hit in the sheet music format. The song became a minor standard and was covered by many other performers, including Russ Columbo, Louis Prima and Keely Smith. Negri went on a successful vaudeville tour to promote the song. She then was employed in the leading role of the touring theatre production A Trip to Pressburg, which premiered at the Shubert Theatre in New York. However, she collapsed after the final curtain at the production's stop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania due to gallbladder inflammation, and was unable to complete the tour. Negri returned to France to appear in Fanatisme (Fanaticism, 1934), a historical costume film about Napoleon III. The film was directed by the directorial team of Tony Lekain and Gaston Ravel and released by Pathé. It was her only French film.
After this, actor-director Willi Forst brought Negri to Germany appear in the film Mazurka (1935). The film was considered "artistically valuable" (German: künstlerisch wertvoll) by the Reichsfilmkammer. Mazurka gained much popularity in Germany and abroad and became one of Adolf Hitler's favorite films, a fact that, along with her admiring comments about the efficiency of the German film industry, gave birth to a rumor in 1937 of Negri having had an affair with Hitler. Negri sued Pour Vous, the French magazine which had circulated the rumor, for libel, and won. Mazurka was remade (almost shot-for-shot) in the U.S. as Confession (1937), starring Kay Francis.
After the success of Mazurka, Negri's former studio, the now Joseph Goebbels-controlled UFA, signed Negri to a new contract. Negri lived in France while working for UFA, making five films with them: Moscow–Shanghai (1936), Madame Bovary (1937), Tango Notturno (1937), Die fromme Lüge (The Secret Lie, 1938), and Die Nacht der Entscheidung (The Night of Decision, 1938). After the Nazis took over France, Negri fled back to the United States. She sailed to New York from Lisbon, Portugal, and initially lived by selling off jewelry. She was hired in a supporting role as the temperamental opera singer Genya Smetana for the 1943 comedy Hi Diddle Diddle. After the success of this film, Negri was offered numerous roles which were essentially rehashes of her role in Hi Diddle Diddle, all of which she turned down as derivative. In 1944, Negri was engaged by booking agent Miles Ingalls for a nationwide vaudeville tour. According to her autobiography, she also appeared in a Boston supper club engagement in 1945 for a repertoire centered around the song "Paradise," and retired from the entertainment business altogether.
Retirement and final appearances
In 1948, director Billy Wilder approached Negri to appear as Norma Desmond in the film Sunset Boulevard (1950), after Mae Murray, Mae West, Greta Garbo, Norma Shearer, and Mary Pickford declined the role. Negri reportedly declined the role because she felt that the screenplay was not ready and that Montgomery Clift, who was slated to play the Joe Gillis character at the time, was not a good choice for the character. The role of Gillis eventually went to William Holden, and Gloria Swanson accepted the role of Norma Desmond.
Negri came out of retirement to appear in the Walt Disney film The Moon-Spinners (1964), which starred Hayley Mills and Eli Wallach. Negri's appearance in the film as eccentric jewel collector Madame Habib was shot in London over the course of two weeks. While she was filming The Moon-Spinners, she made a sensation by appearing before the London press at her hotel in the company of a feisty cheetah on a steel chain leash. The same year, she received an honorary award from the German film industry for her film work, followed by a Hemis-Film award in San Antonio in 1968. In 1970 she published her autobiography Memoirs of a Star, published by Doubleday. She made an appearance at the Museum of Modern Art on 30 April 1970, for a screening event in her honor, which featured her film A Woman of the World (1925) and selections from her films. Negri was a guest of honor at the 1972 screening of Carmen held at the Witte Museum in San Antonio.
In 1975, director Vincente Minnelli approached Negri to appear as the Contessa Sanziani in A Matter of Time, but Negri did not accept due to poor health. In 1978, Billy Wilder directed Fedora, and although Negri does not appear in the film, the title character was reportedly based largely on her. Her final high-profile coverage in her lifetime was for a "Where Are They Now?" feature on silent film stars, which appeared in Life magazine in 1980.
Negri's first marriage was with Count Eugeniusz Dąmbski, and proved to be short lived. Negri married Dąmbski in St Mary's Assumption Church in Sosnowiec on 5 November 1919, thus becoming Countess Apolonia Dąmbska-Chałupiec, having long since dropped the forename Barbara. After a long separation period, Negri and Dąmbski's union was dissolved in 1922.
After she began working in the United States, she made headlines and gossip columns with a string of celebrity love affairs, most notably with film stars Charlie Chaplin, Rod La Rocque, and Rudolph Valentino. Negri had met Chaplin while in Germany, and what began as a platonic relationship became a well-publicized affair and marriage speculation which received the headline "The Queen of Tragedy to Wed the King of Comedy." The relationship soured, and Negri became involved for a time with actor Rod La Rocque, who appeared as her leading man in Forbidden Paradise (1924). Negri met Rudolph Valentino at a costume party held by Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst at the San Simeon estate and was reportedly Valentino's lover until his death in 1926. She caused a media sensation at his New York funeral on 24 August 1926, at which she "fainted" several times, and according to actor Ben Lyon, arranged for a large floral arrangement that spelled "P-O-L-A" to be placed on Valentino's coffin. The press dismissed her actions as a publicity stunt. At the time of his death and for the remainder of her life, Negri claimed Valentino was the love of her life.
Negri soon married again, to the Georgian self-styled "Prince" Serge Mdivani. This action caused public opinion in the United States to sour against her because it happened so quickly after Rudolph Valentino's death. Negri and Mdivani were married on 14 May 1927 (less than nine months after Valentino's death); shortly after she became pregnant, and Negri, who always wanted a child, started taking better care of her health and even considered retiring from movies in order to be a housewife and mother. However, she reportedly suffered a miscarriage. She grieved the loss of her child for the rest of her life. On 2 April 1931 they divorced.
While residing at the Ambassador Hotel in New York in April 1932, Negri performed with Russ Columbo in George Jessel's variety revue at the Schubert Theatre and was briefly involved with Columbo. After her film, A Woman Commands, premiered in Hollywood, Columbo performed Negri's signature song "Paradise" with his orchestra and dedicated the song to her. Columbo also recorded and released the song as a 78 rpm single that year with slightly altered lyrics, and the single became a huge sensation with audiences across the country.
When Negri returned to the United States in the early 1940s, she became close friends with Margaret West, an oil heiress and vaudeville actress whom she had originally met in the 1930s. The two became housemates, sharing a beachfront home in Los Angeles with Negri's then-88-year-old mother, and later in Bel Air. Negri, who remained a devout Catholic in her later life, spent her time raising funds for Catholic charities with both her mother and West. On 12 January 1951, Negri became a naturalized citizen of the United States. After the death of Negri's mother in 1954 of pancreatic cancer, she and West relocated from Los Angeles to San Antonio, Texas in 1957. Negri lived with West until the latter's death of heart failure in 1963. Negri moved out of the home she had shared with West into a townhouse located at 7707 Broadway in San Antonio, where she spent the remainder of her years, largely out of the public eye.
Some scholars, such as Rudolph Valentino biographer Emily Leider, have suggested that Negri was bisexual and that she and West were romantic partners. Negri biographer Sergio Delgado contests this, though he notes in his 2016 book Pola Negri: Temptress of Silent Hollywood, that there is "strong anecdotal evidence" that Negri was bisexual.
Pola Negri died on 1 August 1987, aged 90. Her death was caused by pneumonia; however, she was also suffering from a brain tumor, for which she had refused treatment. Dr. Juan Nieto, a physician from San Antonio, pronounced her death. At her wake at the Porter Loring Funeral Home in San Antonio, her body was placed on view wearing a yellow golden chiffon dress with a golden turban to match. Her death received extensive coverage in her hometown newspapers San Antonio Light, and San Antonio Express-News, and in publications such as Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and Variety.
Negri was interred in Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles next to her mother Eleonora, who died in 1954 from pancreatic cancer. As Negri had no children or siblings, she left most of her estate to St. Mary's University, in Texas, including a collection of memorabilia and several rare prints of her films. St. Mary's University also set up a scholarship in her name. In addition, a generous portion of her estate was given to the Polish nuns of the Seraphic Order; a large black and white portrait hangs in the small chapel next to Poland's patron, Our Lady of Częstochowa, in San Antonio.
Negri has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to Motion Pictures at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard. She was the 11th star in Hollywood history to place her hand and foot prints in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. She received a star in Poland's Walk of Fame(pl) in Łódź and Poland's post office issued a postage stamp honoring her in 1996. The Polish Film Festival of Los Angeles remembered her with the Pola Negri Award, given to outstanding film artists, and the Pola Negri Museum in Lipno gives a Polita award for outstanding artist achievement.
Negri, with Theda Bara and Mae Murray, were the actresses whose eyes were combined to form the Chicago International Film Festival's logo, a stark, black and white close up of the composite eyes set as repeated frames in a strip of film. It was created by Festival Founder and Artistic Director Michael Kutza.
In 2006, a feature-length documentary about Negri's life, Pola Negri: Life Is a Dream in Cinema, premiered at the Seventh Annual Polish Film Festival of Los Angeles. The film was directed by Negri's biographer, Mariusz Kotowski, and includes in-depth interviews with Hayley Mills and Eli Wallach, who starred in Negri's final film The Moon-Spinners (1964). Pola Negri: Life Is a Dream in Cinema has played at Negri retrospective screenings in Europe and the U.S., most notably at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris.
Kotowski wrote a Polish-language biography of Negri titled Pola Negri: Legenda Hollywood (English title: Pola Negri: Hollywood Legend), released in Poland on 24 February 2011, and an English-language biography Pola Negri: Hollywood's First Femme Fatale, published by the University of Kentucky Press on 8 April 2014. Kotowski produced a 3-disc DVD compilation of early Negri films, Pola Negri, The Iconic Collection: The Early Years (2011).
|Denotes a lost or presumed lost film|
In Congress Poland and Regency Kingdom
||Aleksander Hertz||Sphinx Company||Alternate titles: Der Sklave der Sinne, lit. English: Slave of Sin
Poland's first feature film
||Aleksander Hertz||Sphinx Company||lit. English: Wife|
||Aleksander Hertz||Sphinx Company||lit. English: The Yellow Pass
An early version of Der Gelbe Schein (The Yellow Ticket)
||Aleksander Hertz||Sphinx Company||lit. English: Students|
|1917||Bestia||Aleksander Hertz||Sphinx Company||lit. English: Beast; Alternate titles: The Polish Dancer (U.S. release title), Bad Girl|
|1917||Tajemnica alei Ujazdowskich
||Aleksander Hertz||Sphinx Company||lit. English: Mystery of Uyazdovsky Avenue
Part of the Tajemnice Warszawy (Mysteries of Warsaw) serial
|1917||Pokój Nr. 13
||Aleksander Hertz||Sphinx Company||lit. English: Room #13
Part of the Tajemnice Warszawy (Mysteries of Warsaw) serial
||Aleksander Hertz||Sphinx Company||Note: Though the majority of the film is presumed lost, a short fragment survives, as it was used in Polish film O czym się nie mówi (1939).|
|1917||Jego ostatni czyn
||Aleksander Hertz||Sphinx Company||lit. English: His Last Gesture|
In Germany (silent period)
|1917||Nicht lange täuschte mich das Glück
||Kurt Matull||Saturn-Film AG||Negri plays a dual supporting role as a nun and a cabaret dancer|
|1917||Küsse, die man stiehlt im Dunkeln
||Unknown||Saturn-Film AG||lit. English: Kisses Stolen in the Dark|
|1917||Die toten Augen
||Unknown||Saturn-Film AG||lit. English: Dead Eyes|
|1917||Wenn das Herz in Haß erglüht||Kurt Matull||Saturn-Film AG||lit. English: When the Heart Burns With Hate
This film survives and has been shown at La Cinémathèque Française in Paris, France, and at the Museum of Cinematography in Łodz, Poland
|1918||Rosen, die der Sturm entblättert
|1918||Mania||Eugen Illés||UFA||Set design by Paul Leni
Full title: Mania, Die Geschichte einer Zigarettenarbeiterin (Mania: The Story of a Cigarette Girl).
|1918||Die Augen der Mumie Mâ||Ernst Lubitsch||UFA||lit. English: The Eyes of Mummy Ma
Co-stars: Harry Liedtke and Emil Jannings
First Negri/Lubitsch collaboration
|1918||Der gelbe Schein||Victor Janson and Eugen Illés||UFA||Co-stars: Harry Liedtke and Victor Janson
Alternate title: The Yellow Ticket
|1918||Carmen||Ernst Lubitsch||UFA||Co-star: Harry Liedtke
Alternate title: Gypsy Blood (U.S. release)
|1919||The Carousel of Life
||Georg Jacoby||UFA||Co-star: Harry Liedtke
German:Das Karussell des Lebens ; Alternate title: The Last Payment (U.S. release)
||Georg Jacoby||UFA||Co-stars: Emil Jannings and Harry Liedtke
Alternate title: Blutrache (Blood Revenge)
|1919||Dämmerung des Todes
|1919||The Woman at the Crossroads
||Georg Jacoby||UFA||German: Kreuziget sie! lit. English: Crucify Them!
Co-stars: Harry Liedtke and Victor Janson
|1919||Madame DuBarry||Ernst Lubitsch||UFA||Co-stars: Emil Jannings and Harry Liedtke
Alternate title: Passion (U.S. release)
|1919||Countess Doddy||Georg Jacoby||UFA||Co-stars: Harry Liedtke and Victor Janson
Alternate title: Komtesse Dolly
|1920||The Marquise of Armiani
||Alfred Halm||UFA||German: Die Marchesa d'Armiani|
|1920||Sumurun||Ernst Lubitsch||UFA||Co-stars: Ernst Lubitsch, Paul Wegener, Harry Liedtke, and Jenny Hasselqvist
Alternate title: One Arabian night (U.S. release)
A film remake of the Max Reinhardt theater production, which also featured Negri and Lubitsch in the same respective roles, this is the only time the two appeared on screen together and is the last time the Lubitsch appeared on-screen as an actor.
||Paul Ludwig Stein||UFA||German: Das Martyrium lit. English: The Martyrium|
|1920||The Closed Chain
||Paul Ludwig Stein||UFA||Die geschlossene Kette; Alternate title: Intrigue (U.S. release)|
|1920||The Red Peacock
||Paul Ludwig Stein||UFA||German:Arme Violetta lit. English: Poor Violetta|
|1921||Die Bergkatze||Ernst Lubitsch||UFA||Co-stars: Victor Janson, Paul Heidemann
lit. English: The Mountain Cat; Alternate title: The Wildcat
A German Expressionist comedy and parody of the Expressionist film genre
|1921||Sappho||Dimitri Buchowetzki||UFA||Co-stars: Alfred Abel and Johannes Riemann
Alternate title: Mad Love (U.S. release)
|1923||Die flamme||Ernst Lubitsch||Ernst Lubitsch Film GmbH||lit. English: The Flame
Co-stars: Alfred Abel and Hermann Thimig
Alternate title: Montmartre (U.S. Release)
Ernst Lubitsch's final German film
|1923||Bella Donna||George Fitzmaurice||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Co-stars: Conway Tearle, Conrad Nagel, Adolphe Menjou
Remake of the 1915 film Bella Donna starring Pauline Frederick
||George Fitzmaurice||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Co-stars: Jack Holt and Charles de Roche
Remake of the 1915 film The Cheat starring Fannie Ward and Sessue Hayakawa
||James Cruze||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Negri plays a cameo role in this film, which features guest appearances from many other Hollywood stars from the period|
|1923||The Spanish Dancer||Herbert Brenon||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Co-stars: Antonio Moreno, Wallace Beery and Adolphe Menjou|
|1924||Shadows of Paris
||Herbert Brenon||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Co-stars: Charles de Roche, Adolphe Menjou, and George O'Brien|
||Dimitri Buchowetzki||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount|
|1924||Lily of the Dust
||Dimitri Buchowetzki||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Co-stars: Ben Lyon, Noah Beery, and Raymond Griffith|
|1924||Forbidden Paradise||Ernst Lubitsch||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Co-stars: Rod La Rocque, Adolphe Menjou, Pauline Starke, and Clark Gable (in a bit role).
Only American Lubitsch/Negri collaboration and their final film together
|1925||East of Suez
||Raoul Walsh||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Co-stars: Edmund Lowe and Noah Beery
Negri's only film directed by Raoul Walsh
||Sidney Olcott||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Co-stars: Wallace MacDonald and Cesare Gravina|
|1925||Flower of Night
||Paul Bern||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Co-stars: Warner Oland, Gustav von Seyffertitz|
|1925||A Woman of the World||Malcolm St. Clair||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Co-stars: Charles Emmett Mack, Holmes Herbert, Chester Conklin|
|1926||The Crown of Lies
||Dimitri Buchowetzki||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount|
|1926||Good and Naughty
||Malcolm St. Clair||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Co-stars: Ford Sterling and Miss DuPont|
|1927||Hotel Imperial||Mauritz Stiller||Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount||Co-stars: James Hall, George Siegmann, and Max Davidson
Broke box-office records for highest ticket sales
|1927||Barbed Wire||Rowland V. Lee
|Paramount||Co-stars: Clive Brook, Einar Hanson, and Gustav von Seyffertitz
Mauritz Stiller started the film, but was replaced with Rowland V. Lee early on in the film
|1927||The Woman on Trial
||Mauritz Stiller||Paramount||Note: While mostly lost, surviving fragments are owned by the Museum of Modern Art.|
|1928||The Secret Hour
||Rowland V. Lee||Paramount|
||Rowland V. Lee||Paramount||Co-stars: Warner Baxter, Paul Lukas, and Olga Baclanova|
|1928||Loves of an Actress
||Rowland V. Lee||Paramount||Co-stars: Nils Asther and Paul Lukas
Silent film with soundtrack
|1928||The Woman from Moscow
||Ludwig Berger||Paramount||Co-stars: Norman Kerry, Paul Lukas, and Otto Matiesen
Alternate title: Rachel
Silent film with soundtrack
International (sound period)
|1929||The Woman He Scorned||Paul Czinner||Charles Whittaker Productions UK (Distributed By Warners UK)||United Kingdom||Co-stars: Hans Rehmann, Warwick Ward
Alternate Titles: The Way of Lost Souls, Street of Abandoned Children
Silent film with soundtrack. Negri's final silent film.
|1932||A Woman Commands||Paul L. Stein||RKO||United States||Co-stars: Basil Rathbone, Roland Young, H.B. Warner
Alternate title: Maria Draga
Negri's first sound film; features the songs "Paradise", "I Wanna Be Kissed", "Promise You Will Remember Me". "Paradise" was a major hit and a went on to become a standard for many years; it was covered by Russ Colombo and Louis Prima, featured in the television show Adventures in Paradise, and used as soundtrack music for other films from the time.
|1934||Fanatisme||Tony Lekain, Gaston Ravel||Pathé||France||Negri's only French film; features her singing three songs|
|1935||Mazurka||Willi Forst||Cine-Allianz/Tobis-Klangfilm||Germany||Co-stars: Ingeborg Theek, Paul Hartmann, and Albrecht Schoenhals
Features the songs "Je sens en moi", "Mazurka", and "Nur eine Stunde". Remade in 1937 by Warner Brothers as Confession starring Kay Francis and directed by Austrian director Joe May
|1936||Moscow–Shanghai||Paul Wegener||UFA||Germany||Co-star: Gustav Diessl
German: Moskau-Shanghai; Alternate titles: Von Moskau nach Shanghai, Der Weg nach Shanghai, Begegnung in Shanghai, Zwischen Moskau und Shanghai
Features the song "Mein Herz hat Heimweh..."
|1937||Madame Bovary||Gerhard Lamprecht||UFA||Germany||Negri's only German sound film to be shown in the United States|
|1937||Tango Notturno||Fritz Kirchhoff||UFA||Germany||Co-star: Albrecht Schoenhals
Features the songs "Ich hab an Dich Gedacht" and "Kommt das Glück nicht heut'? Dann kommt es morgen"
|1938||The Secret Lie||Nunzio Malasomma||UFA||Germany||German: Die fromme Lüge
Co-star: Hermann Braun
|1938||The Night of Decision||Nunzio Malasomma||UFA||Germany||German: Die Nacht der Entscheidung
Co-star: Iván Petrovich
Features the songs "Siehst Du die Sterne am Himmel" and "Zeig' der Welt nicht Dein Herz"
Last films (U.S.)
|1943||Hi Diddle Diddle||Andrew L. Stone||Andrew L. Stone Productions (Distributed by United Artists)||Co-stars: Adolphe Menjou, Martha Scott, Billie Burke, Dennis O'Keefe, June Havoc|
|1964||The Moon-Spinners||James Neilson||Walt Disney Productions||Co-stars: Hayley Mills, Eli Wallach|
Negri released a total of ten 78 rpm singles. In 1931, she recorded seven gypsy folk songs in London accompanied by guitars and chorus, six of which were released as the sides of three records on Victor's His Master's Voice imprint. She recorded a French-language version of "Paradise" in Paris in 1933 with "Mes Nuits sont Mortes" as its flip side. (Sheet music was released for the English-language version, but the recorded version only appeared in the 1932 film, A Woman Commands, and was never released as a record.) The remainder of Negri's recordings, cut from 1935 to 1938, centered around songs that she sang in her German sound films.
|Matrix No.||Single No.||Label||Song Title||Time and Place of Recording||Notes|
|OB-641||HMV EK-114||His Master's Voice||V chas toski (The Hour of Longing)||Small Queen's Hall, London, 12 March 1931||Accompanied by Boris Golovka and two others on guitar, with chorus.|
|OB-642||HMV EK-114||His Master's Voice||Chto nam gore? (Why Are You Sorry?)||same||same|
|OB-643||(Not Released)||His Master's Voice||Yescho raz (Once again)||same||same|
|OB-647||HMV B-3820||His Master's Voice||Ochy Tchornye (Dark Eyes)||Small Queen's Hall, London, 13 March 1931||same|
|OB-648||HMV EK-115||His Master's Voice||Why Fall in Love?||same||same|
|OB-649||HMV B-3820||His Master's Voice||Adieu (Farewell, My Gypsy Camp)||same||same|
|OB-650||HMV EK-114||His Master's Voice||Dwe gitary (Two Guitars aka "Gypsy, Sing!")||same||same; dedicated to Pola Negri by Boris Golovka|
|P 76523||AP 989||Ultraphone||Mes Nuits sont Mortes||Paris, July 1933|
|P 76524||AP 989||Ultraphone||Paradis||Paris, July 1933||French-language version of "Paradise"; A-side of single AP 989|
|P Be 10937-3||0–4723||Odéon||Je sens en moi||Berlin, 8 April 1935||Song from the film Mazurka (1935); orchestra arr. by Peter Kreuder|
|P Be 10938-3||0–4723||Odéon||Nur eine Stunde||Berlin, 8 April 1935||Song from the film Mazurka (1935); orchestra arr. by Peter Kreuder|
|128338||R 2271||Parlophone||For That One Hour of Passion||Berlin, c. early 1936||English-language version of "Nur eine Stunde." Original version from the film Mazurka.|
|128337||R 2271||Parlophone||Stay Close to Me||Berlin, c. early 1936||English-language version of "Je sans en moi." Original version from the film Mazurka.|
|P Be 11241||0–4736||Odéon||Vergiss deine Sehnsucht||Berlin, 17 March 1936||Orchestra arranged by W. Schmidt-Boelcke.|
|P Be 11242||0–4736||Odéon||Wenn die Sonne hinter den Dächern versinkt||Berlin, 17 March 1936||Orchestra arranged by W. Schmidt-Boelcke.|
|P Be 11432-2||0–4742||Odéon||Mein Herz hat Heimweh...||Berlin, 2 September 1936||Song from the film Moskau-Shanghai (1936). Orchestra arranged by Hans-Otto Borgmann.|
|P Be 11433||0–4742||Odéon||Ich möchte einmal nur mein ganzes Herz verschwenden||Berlin, 2 September 1936||Orchestra arranged by Hans-Otto Borgmann|
|P Be 11891||0–4765||Odéon||Ich hab an Dich gedacht||Berlin, 15 December 1937||Song from the film Tango Notturno (1937). Orchestra arranged by Hans-Otto Borgmann.|
|P Be 11892||0–4765||Odéon||Kommt das Glück nicht heut'? Dann kommt es morgen||Berlin, 15 December 1937||Song from the film Tango Notturno (1937). Orchestra arranged by Hans-Otto Borgmann.|
|P Be 12171||0 288233||Odéon||Zeig der Welt nicht Dein Herz||Berlin, 30 December 1938||Song from the film Die Nacht der Entscheidung (1938). Orchestra arranged by Lothar Bruhne.|
|P Be 12172||0 288233||Odéon||Siehst Du die Sterne||Berlin, 30 December 1938||Song from the film Die Nacht der Entscheidung (1938). Orchestra arranged by Lothar Bruhne.|
- Pola Negri's original surname was Chalupec or—according to the Polish alphabet's rules—Chałupec. Some sources use polonized form Chałupiec, which doesn't exist in any official documents concerning Pola Negri.
- Some sources cite 31 December 1896 as Negri's date of birth but the four-day discrepancy is due to the change in styling from the Julian calendar (OS) of Imperial Russia to the Gregorian calendar (NS) in Poland, per biographer Mariusz Kotowski, who uses the 3 January 1897 date in his biography of her life. Negri herself used both dates on different documents, including United States immigration and naturalization paperwork, but liked to use the 31 December date and to state that she was born on the last day of the 19th century, which is why some documents, including Social Security, cite 31 December 1899, as does her crypt, indicating that Negri had made herself three years younger.
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- Martin Votruba (12 April 2013). "Pola Negri". Slovak Studies Program. University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
The exact spelling of her and her parents' names is complicated by the mandated use of Russian in government records in that part of [partitioned] Poland, when she was born. For instance, her father's last name is recorded as Халупец at the Lipno Office of Vital Records, which can be rendered in Polish as Chalupec, Chałupec, Chalupiec, or Chałupiec.
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