Hollywood stories!

+ We found the following wonderful nugget in the Event Organisers update newsletter. Hollywood history gold. Thanks guys.

The story of the doomed courtesan at the Versailles court of Louis XV was an early (1919) black and white silent film of director Ernst Lubitsch which used the excuse of history to give audiences epic sex, violence and intrigue.

This starred Polish-born 22 year-old actress Barbara Apolonia Chalupec, who specialised in femme fatale roles under her stage name of Pola Negri, and Swiss-born 35 year-old actor Theodore Friedrich Emil Janenz – Emil Jannings – who played the randy royal.

After this Jannings, like Negri, went on to fame and fortune in Hollywood, and in 1929 won the very first Oscar ever awarded, although there is some evidence that the Academy vote was actually won by German Shepherd dog Rin Tin Tin, but that the Academy was concerned that it might not be taken seriously if it gave its first coveted award for acting to an animal. Jannings later blotted his copybook by being admired by Hitler’s Minister for Truth and film buff Joseph Goebbels and starring in stirring Nazi propaganda productions.

Madame DuBarry, called “Passion” in the USA in case American audiences didn’t know the history, is being released in dual format Blu-Ray/DVD in September by specialists Eureka Entertainment, as part of their The Masters of Cinema series.