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21 August 2013

Bella Polini

Beautiful Bella Polini appeared in several German silent films of the 1920s.

Bella Polini
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 795/2, no. 1925-1926. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Visually Stunning
Bella Polini probably made her film debut opposite Harry Piel in his adventure film Der Verächter des Todes/The despiser of death (Harry Piel, 1920). She then played a dancer in Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s horror film Der Bucklige und die Tänzerin/The Hunchback and the Dancer (1920), starring Sascha Gura. The film, written by Carl Mayer and photographed by Karl Freund, is considered lost now, but at the time it was praised as being visually stunning. Pollini appeared again with Harry Piel in Das Gefängnis auf dem Meeresgrund/The prison on the seabed (Harry Piel, 1920). The following year Polini played in the two-parter Die Brillantenmieze/The Diamond Kitty (Wolfgang Neff, 1921) featuring Ria Alldorf. The next year, she had a supporting part in Die Kartenlegerin/The Fortune Teller (Bruno Eichgrün, 1922) for Hegewald Film. She also appeared in another Hegewald production, Morast (Wolfgang Neff, 1922). For Elysium Film, she appeared in Die Rote Marianne/Red Marian (Friedrich Berger, 1922).

Harry PielGerman postcard by Ross Verlag, nr. 5046/2 , 1930-1931. Photo: Ariel Film.

Aufklärungsfilm
Four years later, Bella Polini played again a dancer in her final film Dürfen wir schweigen?/Should We Be Silent? (Richard Oswald, 1926). This production had an all-star cast including Conrad Veidt, Walter Rilla and Mary Parker. It was a remake of the Aufklärungsfilm Es werde Licht/Let there be light! (1917) about venereal disease, which was also directed by Richard Oswald. An Aufklärungsfilm is a German educational film that treats taboo subjects - especially in the area of sexuality. Oswald had made Es Werde Licht on behalf of the German War Office during the First World War. It was a great commercial success and the Aufklärungsfilm became a popular genre in the German cinema of the 1910s and 1920s. The genre made a come-back during the 1960s and 1970s. Sadly, Dürfen wir schweigen? (1926) is considered as lost now. About Bella Polini, we could not find further information. If you know more about her, please let us know.

Conrad Veidt
Conrad Veidt. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1426/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Vaida M. Pál, Budapest.

Sources: Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.

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