Gypsy Blood (1918)

Stars: Harry Liedtke, Pola Negri
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Runtime: 80 Minutes
Language: English subtitles - Orchestra music score
Color:  Black and White (with some tinted scenes)
Format:  DVD-R
Extras: Chaplin Short - The Vagabond (1916)
Rating: NR

Price: $14.95

Gypsy Blood

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch

Harry Liedtke .... Don José Novarro
Pola Negri .... Carmen
Leopold von Ledebur .... Escamillo
Paul Biensfeldt .... Garcia
Paul Conradi .... Don Cairo
Wilhelm Diegelmann .... Gefängniswärter
Grete Diercks .... Dolores
Victor Janson
Max Kronert .... Remendato

The tragic story of Don Jose, a Spanish cavalryman, who falls under the spell of a gypsy girl, Carmen, who treats him with both love and contempt and leads him into temptation and thus, damnation. 80 Minutes

The Vagabond (1916)

Directed by Charles Chaplin

Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell,
Leo White & Lloyd Bacon

An impoverished violinist rescues and falls in love with a beautiful gypsy girl. In their travels they meet an artist who paints the girl's portrait. Later, when a wealthy woman recognizes her long-ago- kidnapped daughter in the painting, she tracks down the girl with the artist's help. The gypsy girl is taken back to her rightful heritage, leaving Charlie thinking she has gone with the artist he thinks she loves. But has she? Does she? 22 Minutes.

An original review from 1921:


starring Pola Negri
June, 1921

At the risk of being accused of a lack of patriotism, I am going to pin a medal on another "foreign-made" picture. Pola Negri, the Du Barry of "Passion," has gone and done it again. "Gypsy Blood" is the name of her second picture for First National. The picture is called "Gypsy Blood" because the distributors assume that the public has had three Carmens and is no longer interested in the story.

You may have seen Geraldine Farrar, Theda Bara, and Edna Purviance play the role, but until you see Pola Negri, you never have seen a real, honest-to-badness Carmen. Ernest Lubitsch, who also directed "Passion," has drawn the screen story from the novel by Prosper Merimee and not from the "doctored" libretto of Bizet's opera.

Carmen, as she is depicted on the operatic stage, is a beautiful, elegantly gowned and high-spirited gypsy girl who is just a bit of a flirt. Triana, the gypsy quarter of Seville, is a colorful but clean place. The cabaret, conducted by Lillas Pastia, looks like a modern Palais de Danse and the smugglers are like irreproachable gentlemen garbed for a fancy dress ball.

Lubitsch and Pola Negri have discarded all the tinsel and trappings. La Carmencita, as played by Miss Negri, is a disreputable, low-down and rowdy gypsy girl. Her clothes are in atrocious taste, her finery is shabby, and her morals are unquestionable. That is to say, they are unquestionably bad. Miss Negri doesn't try to look pretty, play to the camera, or attempt to be alluring. She simply gives a marvelously faithful picture of a vulgar, ignorant and wanton gypsy girl.

Triana is shown as a down-at-the-heels and filthy slum. The cabaret of Lillas Pastia is transformed into an ugly saloon, and the smugglers are a set of regular crooks. Even Don Jose is no hero. He is merely a Spanish peasant who is foolish enough to be taken in by the wiles of an elemental and primitive girl. "Gypsy Blood" isn't as beautifully finished and technically correct as our American productions, but it has fire, dash, and flashes of real inspiration.