The Silent Treatment: A Woman of the World

Featuring live accompaniment by Cliff Retallick!
Introduction from Nikki Jee, Preservation Manager (Paramount Pictures)

A chic European countess visits her small-town American cousin and wreaks mayhem with her liberated continental habits, like smoking cigarettes and seducing men of high ranking public office. Pola Negri is very good at imbuing small gestures with explicit suggestions, and, with eyelids perpetually at half-mast, exudes an attractive combination of contempt and boredom. As a reflection of and probably a comment on Negri’s experience with the American public as an exoticized object of controversy, A Woman of the World plays her opulent femme fatale typecast against puritanical Midwestern notions of feminine behavior, her stigmatized romantic independence marked by the black skull tattoo on her forearm. At one point she hunts down the man who’s been slandering her name, and whips it out of the not-completely-unwilling participant–literally, with a bullwhip.

Dir Malcolm St. Clair, 1925, DCP restoration, 70 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!