starring Pola Negri
February, 1921

"Passion" comes like a bolt from the blue - and a few more bolts of a similar nature will cause the American producers to realize that they no longer have a monopoly. Incidentally, it will urge everyone forward, for competition always inspires the greatest results.

The story is "Du Barry," and was and is called by that name when exhibited abroad. Unfortunately, those controlling the American rights feel that the new title, "Passion," has a greater appeal to their public, even tho the popularity of "Du Barry" stands unquestioned. However --

The story is true in its adaptation, even to the minor points, telling as it does of the little milliner's assistant, Marie Jeanne, who becomes Countess duBarry and, finally, the famed mistress of Louis XV. Her story is truly and vividly sketched until the outbreak of the French Revolution when she pays the price of her life, despite the efforts of her girlhood sweetheart, who would save her at any cost.

Advices from abroad herald the director of this production as the European Griffith and it may be said that he is worthy of the comparison. In "Passion," alias "Du Barry," he has given his public a very fine production - placing confidence in his story, he has gone on devoting his efforts to the carrying out of every detail. With Europe as his stage, he has, of course, been able to pass on a ripe continental flavor. The scenes have unusual depth, and those of the mobs are among the finest every screened - they are as mobs, are, still - surging forward, then still once more.

Pola Negri, in the role of "Du Barry," is fascinating and vivid - a finished actress who brings to the screen the grace of the Russian Ballet from which she comes. People may argue over her beauty, but they will agree as to her art and fascination.

This picture was produced during the war and therefore, undoubtedly under adverse conditions. It seemed to be static film, looking as tho it was raining. But when the story begin to unweave, the imperfections ceased to worry us - in fact they ceased to exist.

"Passion" without suggestion of the unpleasant achieves the risqué.

Video sources: Movies Unlimited, Critic's Choice

Return to reviews page