Bella Donna (1923 film)

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Bella Donna
Lobby card with Pola Negri and Adolphe Menjou
Directed by George Fitzmaurice
Produced by Adolph Zukor
Jesse L. Lasky
Written by Ouida Bergère (scenario)
Based on Bella Donna (novel)
by Robert Smythe Hichens
Bella Donna (play)
by James Bernard Fagan
Starring Pola Negri
Music by song "Bella Donna"
Ted Snyder (music)
Harry B. Smith (lyrics)
Cinematography Arthur C. Miller
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • April 1, 1923 (1923-04-01)
Running time
8 reels
(7895 to 7903 feet)
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)

Bella Donna is a 1923 American silent film produced by Famous Players-Lasky and released by Paramount Pictures. The film is based on a novel, Bella Donna, by Robert Smythe Hichens which was later adapted for a 1912 Broadway play starring Alla Nazimova. This film is also a remake of the 1915 Paramount film Bella Donna starring Pauline Frederick. The 1923 film was directed by George Fitzmaurice and starred Pola Negri in her first American film.[1][2]

Phonofilm version[edit]

Reportedly the film played with sound provided by the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film process. This was probably music and sound effects but no dialogue, and was only at the April 1, 1923 premiere at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City.

Paramount also premiered The Covered Wagon in New York City on March 16, 1923. All or about two reels of The Covered Wagon had a music track recorded in the Phonofilm process, but was only shown this way at the premiere at the Rivoli Theater in New York City.[3] On April 15, 1923, Lee DeForest presented a program of 18 short films made in the Phonofilm process, also at the Rivoli Theater.

Preservation status[edit]

A print is reportedly held at the Gosfilmofond Archive in Moscow.[4][5]



  1. ^ The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films:1921-30 c.1971 by The American Film Institute
  2. ^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:Bella Donna
  3. ^ SilentEra entry for The Covered Wagon
  4. ^ "Bella Donna". 
  5. ^ The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog:Bella Donna

External links[edit]