Sunday, December 2, 2018

Did you Know? Louise Brooks and Pola Illery

In 1931, Paramount remade the 1927 Louise Brooks' film Evening Clothes as a French talkie under the title of Un Homme en Habit. (That was also the French title of Evening Clothes when it was shown in France in the late 1920s). The French film, based on the same story material (Yves Mirande and André Picard's play) as the earlier American silent, starred Suzy Vernon (in the role played by Virginia Valli) and Fernand Gravey (in the role played by Adolphe Menjou). 

Pola Illéry on the cover of a Portuguese magazine.
The role played by Louise Brooks in Evening Clothes was played by Pola Illéry (1909–1993), a 4' 11" exotic silent film star in France and Romania in the 1920s who was best known for portraying sexually liberated women. For a time, she was considered the most glamorous film star in Romania. In 1939, with the rise of Nazism, the Jewish actress fled to the United States where she lived a quiet life. 

Born Paula Iliescu, she changed her name to "Pola" in tribute to the Polish-born actress Pola Negri. Her other key credits include Alberto Cavalcanti's Captain Fracasse (1929) and Le petit chaperon rouge (1930), and Parada Paramount (1930), the Romanian-language version of Paramount on Parade. For more on the actress, check out her Wikipedia and IMDb pages. There is even a Facebook page for her!

Above and below, Pola Illéry in the 1930 René Clair film Sous les toits de Paris (Under the Roofs of Paris).

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