Full page view
HISTORY

The Oct 1922 issue of The Photodramatist announced the arrival of Polish actress Pola Negri in Hollywood, CA, to begin work on her first American film. Principal photography began 7 Oct 1922, according to the Sep-Nov 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review. On 13 Dec 1922, FD stated that actress Sigrid Holmquist replaced Claire Windsor in the role of “Patricia.” Ten days later, the 23 Dec 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review confirmed Windsor’s participation. However, she was later replaced by Lois Wilson. Filming was completed over a period of nearly three months, as reported in the 27 Jan 1923 Exhibitors Trade Review. Director George Fitzmaurice and scenarist Ouida Bergère planned to edit and title the picture in the next several weeks.
       According to the Feb-Jul 1923 Motion Picture, the film was a disappointment to both critics and the public because of heavy censorship. The Aug 1923-Jan 1924 Motion Picture revealed that “a convention of film salesman” was in town while production was underway. After viewing a number of scenes, the attendees were outraged by the picture’s “frankness” and demanded revisions to the scandalous title character. The finished product reportedly garnered disdainful reactions from director Ernst Lubitsch in the Feb-Jul 1923 Motion Picture, and actor-filmmaker Charlie Chaplin in the Aug 1923-Jan 1924 Motion Picture. Negri agreed, comparing her “Bella Donna” to the saccharine fictional character, ... More Less

The Oct 1922 issue of The Photodramatist announced the arrival of Polish actress Pola Negri in Hollywood, CA, to begin work on her first American film. Principal photography began 7 Oct 1922, according to the Sep-Nov 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review. On 13 Dec 1922, FD stated that actress Sigrid Holmquist replaced Claire Windsor in the role of “Patricia.” Ten days later, the 23 Dec 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review confirmed Windsor’s participation. However, she was later replaced by Lois Wilson. Filming was completed over a period of nearly three months, as reported in the 27 Jan 1923 Exhibitors Trade Review. Director George Fitzmaurice and scenarist Ouida Bergère planned to edit and title the picture in the next several weeks.
       According to the Feb-Jul 1923 Motion Picture, the film was a disappointment to both critics and the public because of heavy censorship. The Aug 1923-Jan 1924 Motion Picture revealed that “a convention of film salesman” was in town while production was underway. After viewing a number of scenes, the attendees were outraged by the picture’s “frankness” and demanded revisions to the scandalous title character. The finished product reportedly garnered disdainful reactions from director Ernst Lubitsch in the Feb-Jul 1923 Motion Picture, and actor-filmmaker Charlie Chaplin in the Aug 1923-Jan 1924 Motion Picture. Negri agreed, comparing her “Bella Donna” to the saccharine fictional character, “Pollyanna.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald
23 Dec 1922
p. 60.
Exhibitors Trade Review
Sep-Nov 1922
p. 1402.
Exhibitors Trade Review
27 Jan 1923
p. 447.
Film Daily
13 Dec 1922
p. 4.
Motion Picture
Feb-Jul 1923
p. 69, 120.
Motion Picture
Aug 1923-Jan 1924
p. 88, 103.
The Photodramatist
May 1922-Feb 1923
p. 28.
The Photodramatist
Oct 1922
p. 28.
The Photodramatist
Nov 1922
p. 28.
The Photodramatist
Dec 1922
p. 28.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
PRODUCTION MISC
Spec tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Bella Donna by Robert Smythe Hichens (Philadelphia, 1909).
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 April 1923
Production Date:
7 October--late December 1922
Copyright Claimant:
Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
Copyright Date:
21 March 1923
Copyright Number:
LP18836
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
7,895, 7,903
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After her husband is convicted of throwing one of her suitors into a Venetian canal, adventuress Bella Donna (Mrs. Ruby Chepstow) marries engineer Nigel Armine. They travel to Egypt, where Bella Donna comes under the spell of Mahmoud Baroudi, who persuades her to poison Nigel. He is already seriously ill when a friend diagnoses his trouble, accuses Bella Donna, and brings Nigel back to health. Bella Donna flees to Baroudi's tent but finds him occupied with another woman and having no intention of openly interfering with an Englishman's marriage. Returning to Nigel, she sees her husband in the care of Patricia, a former sweetheart. Bella Donna turns and wanders into a desert sandstorm ... +


After her husband is convicted of throwing one of her suitors into a Venetian canal, adventuress Bella Donna (Mrs. Ruby Chepstow) marries engineer Nigel Armine. They travel to Egypt, where Bella Donna comes under the spell of Mahmoud Baroudi, who persuades her to poison Nigel. He is already seriously ill when a friend diagnoses his trouble, accuses Bella Donna, and brings Nigel back to health. Bella Donna flees to Baroudi's tent but finds him occupied with another woman and having no intention of openly interfering with an Englishman's marriage. Returning to Nigel, she sees her husband in the care of Patricia, a former sweetheart. Bella Donna turns and wanders into a desert sandstorm alone. +

GENRE
Genre:


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.