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The Silent Era's Divas

Theda Bara

In nineteen fifteen, Theda Bara starred in "A Fool There Was." The film was considered risque'. Theda played a vampire type woman. Instead of physically sucking a human's blood, she seduced him into a tortured human being. With her dark shadowed eyes and passionate embraces, she became "The Vamp."

Her latest victim John Schuyler a Wall Street lawyer was on a diplomatic mission to London. While onboard with his wife and young daughter, he spied The Vamp. After his family left him to back to their home, he went over to where The Vamp lounged in a deck chair. From that moment on, they became lovers.

Two months went by, The Vamp and John traveled to Italy. They remained there until he returned to the States. The Vamp moved into a house with him. Even when his wife brought their daughter to see him, he refused to go home with them. It was hard to imagine a distinguished man of his character reduced to such a level. The movie contained a lot of drama and controversy.

The film was adapted from a nineteen hundred and five Broadway stage play. The play was taken from "Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Vampire." The movie defined Theda Bara as "The Vamp" throughout her career in silent films.

Louise Brooks

Nineteen twenty-six, Louise Brooks starred in "Love Em And Leave Em." She played the freewheeling Janie Walsh, the younger sister of Mame Walsh played by Evelyn Bent. The silent film was considered a romantic comedy. The action took place at a rooming house and a large department store. The tale of the two shop girl sisters showed the complexity of their sibling relationship.

Mame was the protector. While, Janie toyed with Mame's intended window dresser Beau causing a conflict between them. Janie bet on racehorses most of the time losing.She gambled away the money for the department store's annual dance. When the floor manager wanted the money to pay for the decorations, it was Mame that took the blame for the money's disappearance.

Mame hatched a plan to get the money back from Janie's shady friend. It was an interesting plot twist as the older sister once again came to the rescue. Also, she regained the admiration of her beau. It left Janie wondering off with one of the wealthy store executives.

Louise Brooks personified "The Flapper." Her short dark bobbed hair, red lipstick, and shortened dress hemlines were copied by the women of the nineteen-twenties.

Pola Negri

Nineteen twenty-six, Pola Negri starred in a silent film "A Woman Of The World." She played Countess Elenora whose European morality did not fit into a small American town's way of life. Moving in with relatives, her clothes, smoking and continental ways were noticed by the town's leading district attorney, Richard Granger. In fact, he tried every way he could to get her to leave the town.

Pola Negri was regarded as a "Femme Fatal" during the silent film era. Mysterious and seductive, her characters charmed and seduced men that desired her, sometimes dangerously so. Sometimes being silent speaks volumes.

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