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The “Rollercoaster” Period (includes the Nazi Period)
Pola’s career may have been in a tumble, but despite the problems, this period proved to be a high water mark for Pola
artistically, as many of these films are of excellent quality and find Pola not only a veteran, accomplished actress, but also at the height of her powers in the beauty department.
THE WOMAN HE SCORNED
(Charles Whittaker Productions UK [dist. By Warners UK]), 1929)
Alternate titles: Street of Abandoned Children, The Way of Lost Souls, Son Dernier Tango
Director: Paul Czinner
Other actors: Hans Rehmann, Warwick Ward, Cameron Carr, Margaret Rawlings
Scenario from an original story by Paul Czinner.
Camera: Adolph Schlasy
Set Decoration: Clarence Elder
Assistant Director: Herbert Selpin
Film score: Fred Elizalde
Notes: Silent film with soundtrack; also Pola's last silent film ever.
Currently it is the only silent film available from the German kammerspielfilm
director Paul Czinner.
Preservation status: Restored by the CNC Archives du France; copies survive in the CNC Archives du France and in the British Film Institute.
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A WOMAN COMMANDS
Alternate titles: Maria Draga (Australian title)
Director: Paul L. Stein
Producer: Charles Rogers
Other actors: Roland Young, Basil Rathbone, H.B. Warner, Anthony Bushell, Reginald Owen, May Boley, Frank Reicher, George Baxter, Cleo Louise Borden, David Newell, Paul Porcasi, Roy Barcroft, Dorothy Granger
Scenario by Thilde Förster and Horace Jackson, from a novel by Guy Fowler.
Original music by Nacio Herb Brown (“Paradise”, “I Wanna Be Kissed”, “Promise You Will Remember Me”)
Cinematography: Hal Mohr
Editor: Daniel Mandell
Costume Design: Gwen Wakeling
Art director: Carroll Clark
Notes: Pola's first talking film; featured Pola singing the song
"Paradise", which became a runaway hit and would later become a
minor standard, far overshadowing the movie it came from. Crooner
Russ Colombo did a sanitized remake of "Paradise" in 1932 or
1933 (I forget which), and around the same time Pola had a
not-so-sanitized affair with him.
Preservation status: Survives complete (apparently in the Turner Archives?). Also the “Paradise” sequence survives at MoMA and
in the Special Collections department at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.
(Pathé [France], 1934)
Directors: Tony Lekain, Gaston Ravel
Other Actors: Jean Yonnel, Andrée Lafayette, Lucien Rozenberg, William Aguet, Pierre Juvenet, Louisa de Mornand, Lilian Greuze, Gil Clary, Made Sylvère, Marthe Sarbel, Jane de Carol, Georges Flateau, Christian Argentin, Pierre Richard-Willm, Alexandre Rignault, Yvonne Yma
Scenario: Max Maurey
Dialogue: Henry d’Erlanger
Photography: Georges Raulet
Sound engineer: Carl S. Livermann
Music: Jean Tranchant, Georges Celerier
Sets: Claude Bouxin
Notes: Pola’s only French-made film was a historical drama about Napoleón III.
Preservation status: A copy of this was personally donated by Pola herself to the Museum of Modern Art; apparently it is the same copy which now survives minus two reels in the George Eastman House.
It also survives complete in the Cimèmathéque Française.
(Cine-Allianz/Tobis-Klangfilm [Germany], 1935)
Director: Willi Forst
Other actors: Ingeborg Theek, Paul Hartmann, Albrecht Schoenhals, Franziska Kinz, Inge List, Freidrich Kayßler, Edwin Jürgensen, H. Hermann Schaufuß, Ernst Karchow, Erich Dunskus, Margot Erbst, Ruth Eweler, Aribert Grimmer, Margarete Schön, Hilde Seipp, Willi Forst
Story by Hans Rameau
Producers: Arnold Pressburger, Gregor Rabinovitch
Original music by Peter Kreuder (“Je sens en moi”, “Mazurka”, “Nur Eine Stunde”)
Music director: Jean-Phillipe Rameau
Lyricists: Peter Kreuder, Bernanrd Sauvat
Cinematography: Konstantin Tschet, Karl Becker-Reinhart (sound camera)
Production Supervisor: Fritz Koltsch
Production staff: Viktor Becker, Hans Wolff, Gretl Duve, Wlater Lehmann, Jan Trojanovski,
Notes: Pola considered this her favorite talkie picture, and it is the only one of her talkie pictures that she kept complete into her old age. And
it's not hard to see why—it is a wonderful melodrama that has her playing a number of roles throughout the film with an emphasis on tragic mother love. Keep a box of tissues handy when watching this picture if you’re the sentimental type. This picture was supposedly the biggest-grossing Nazi picture ever outside the German borders, and was a big hit in Germany too. Sadly, it went almost completely unseen in the U.S. because Warner Brothers bought up the American rights, locked away all the prints, and remade it scene-for-scene with Kay Francis in Pola’s role as
Confession (1937), with German import Joe May (of The Indian Tomb
 and Heimkehr  fame) in the director’s seat. Although not a bad
interpretation of Mazurka, Confession unfortunately flopped at the box office.
Preservation Status: Exists in the Special Collections department at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, the Nederlands Filmmuseum, and a private archive in California (also copies should survive in a couple of the German
Director: Paul Wegener
Other actors: Gustav Diessl, Wolfgang Kappler, Susi Lanner, Erich Ziegel, Karl Dannemann, Hugo Werner-Kahle, Paul Bildt, Karl Meixner, Rudolf Schündler, Heinz Wemper, Franz Weilhammer, Hanns Waschatko, Dorothea Thiess, Walter Gross, F. Grimmer, Gustav Mahnke, Edwin Jürgenssen, Serge Jaroff
Story by Kurt Heynicke and M. W. Kimmich
Cinematography: Franz Weihmayr
Sound: Bruno Sackau
Original music by Hans-Otto Borgmann
Assistant Director: Max W. Kimmich
Lyricist: Hans Fritz Beckmann
Notes: The film was reissued in 1960 by under the name Von Moskau
der Shanghai, and was also released under the name Der Weg nach
Shanghai. The last time director Paul Wegener (most famous today as director and star of the 1920 German Expressionist film
The Golem) worked with Pola in a film was when he was the Grand
Sheik chasing Pola around the royal boudoir in Sumurun (1920).
Sixteen years later they are together again in Moskau-Shanghai, only this time Wegener is behind the camera directing Pola. I think I’d rather be chasing her around the boudoir!
Preservation Status: Exists unrestored at the Nederlands Filmmuseum (also copies should survive in a
couple of the German archives).
Director: Gerhard Lamprecht
Other Actors: Aribert Wäscher, Ferdinand Marian, Werner Scharf, Alexander Engel, Paul Bildt, Olga Limburg, Karl Hellmer, Katharina Brauren, Werner Stock, Carla Rust, Rudolf Klein-Rogge (!), Eduard von Winterstein, Barbara von Annenkoff, Georg H. Schnell, Franz Stein, Bertold Reissig
Scenario by Erich Ebermayer and Hans Neumann, based on the novel Madame Bovary (1857) by Gustave Flaubert
Camera: Karl Hasselman
Sound: Werner Pohl
Original Music by Giuseppe Becce
Notes: From Madame DuBarry to Madame Bovary! And not to be confused with Jean Renoir’s French version of this scandalous novel made four years earlier in 1933. This is the only one of Pola’s Nazi pictures to be released in the U.S. (I don’t know what company released it here). Pola says it was considered by critics as the best filmed version of this story; I haven’t seen the Pola version or the Renoir version so I can’t tell you which is better.
Preservation Status: Exists at Bundesarchiv Berlin (and possibly another German archive?).
Director: Fritz Kirchoff
Other actors: Albrecht Schoenchals, Waldemar Leitgeb, Victor Schamoni, Elisabeth Flickenschildt, Karl Dannemann, Lina Carstens, Günther Hadank, Hans Zesch-Ballot, Theo Shall, Herta Worell, Gotthart Portloff, Jack Trevor, Hans Nielsen, Reginald Pasch, Erich Ponto, F.W. Schröder-schrom, Kurt Seifert, Hanns Waschatko, Edwin Jürgensen, S. O. Schoening
Camera: Fritz Arno Wagner
Music and Lyrics: Hans Fritz Bechmann
Original Music by Hans-Otto Borgmann ("Ich Hab an Dich Gedacht" and "Kommt das Glück nicht Heut? Dann kommt Es Morgen")
Preservation Status: Exists at the F. W. Murnau Stiftung in Germany; also a print survives at the George Eastman House.
DIE FROMME LÜGE (The Secret Lie)
Director: Nunzio Malasomma
Other Actors: Hermann Braun, Herbert Hübner, Josefine Dora, Hansi Arnstaedt, Suse Graf, Hans Leibelt, Harald Paulsen, Günther Bailler, Walter Gross, S. O. Schoening, Lotte Spira, Erika Streithorst
Scenario by Philipp Lothar Mayring and Harald G. Petersson, based on
Hadrian Maria Netto’s dramatic interpretation of the novel by H. von Puttkamer
Camera: Karl Hasselmann.
Music: Franz Grothe
Production Manager: Werner Drake
Assistant Director: Horst Kyrath
Sound: Walter Rühland
Preservation Status: Exists at the F. W. Murnau Stiftung in Germany.
DIE NACHT DER ENTSCHEIDUNG (The Night of Decision)
Director: Nunzio Malasomma
Other Actors: Sabine Peters, Iván Petrovich, Ernst Dumcke, Margarete Genske, Edith Greisr, Irmgard Grun, Edwin Jürgenssen, Olga Limburg, Hans Richter, Annemarie Schäfer, Erhart Stettner, Alice Treff, Hubert von Meyerinck, Hertha von Walther, Hans Zesch-Ballot
Scenario by Phillipp Lother Mayring and Harald G. Petersson, based on the novel by Rolf E. Vanloo
Producer: Hans von Wolzogen
Assistant Director: Eugen de Monti
Camera: Karl Puth
Original Music by Lother Brühne ("Siehst Du die Sterne am Himmel") and Bruno Balz (“Zeig' der Welt nicht Dein Herz")
Notes: Pola’s last Nazi picture. Somehow she managed to leave six Nazi pictures with no propaganda in them, quite an accomplishment but unfortunately one that cost her
a career with UFA. This is a remake of an apparently lost 1930 German talkie picture directed by Dimitri Buchowetski, Pola’s former director in
Sappho, Men, Lily of the Dust, and The Crown of Lies. The original featured Conrad Veidt as one of the leading men and Olga Tschechowa in Pola’s role.
Preservation Status: Exists at the Nederlands Filmmuseum and the Bundesarchiv Berlin; a 5-reel French version entitled
La Nuit Decisive survives in the National Archives of Canada (don’t know any more about this French version).