We’ve written about plenty of “who-dats?” in the past but today’s quiz subject is a bit daring even for us.
One reason is that our classic movie canon — Hollywood films made in the Thirties, Forties and Fifties — for better or worse shies away from the silent movie period of the Twenties, an arena in which today’s subject flourished early in her career. So we are to an extent in uncharted territory.
Nonetheless, we mount our pedantic, “you-must-know-for-your-own-good” horse today. Poli Negri is at least historically important. If you don’t know much about her, you probably should. She really was a big deal in Hollywood at one time.
So please take our Monday Quiz today. You’ll be a better person for it. (Answers tomorrow.)
1) Question: What was Pola Negri’s real name? a) Edith Steinberg; b) Florentina Russo; c) Barbara Chalupiec; or d) Arline Smith.
2) Question: What is Negri’s principal claim in Hollywood history? a) She was the first to doff her clothes on-camera in a studio-made movie; b) She was the first big star to successfully make the shift from silents to talkies; c) She was the first European film star to be imported to Hollywood; d) As a teenager she starred in a movie titled Ecstasy.
3) Question: At one time Negri was engaged to which one of the following? a) Gary Cooper; b) Charlie Chaplin; c) John Gilbert; or d) Al Jolson.
4) Question: The movie magazines of her period informally referred to Negri as: a) The Vamp; b) The Black Lotus Flower; c) Tiger Woman; or d) Professional home wrecker?
5) Question: Negri’s popularity among movie audiences was achieved despite which one of the following attributes? a) She was uninhibited; b) She was physical and sexy; c) She had a naughty, expressive face; or d) She had a real flair for low-brow comedy.
6) Question: Negri was renowned and even scorned for her very public romance with which one of the following? a) Chaplin; b) Rudolph Valentino; c) Harold Lloyd; or d) Rod LaRocque.
7) Question: Which one of the following actresses was Negri’s principal Hollywood rival? a) Greta Garbo; b) Lillian Gish; c) Gloria Swanson; or d) Clara Bow.
8) Question: Which historical figure figure most negatively effected Negro’s movie career? a) Winston Churchill; b) Adolph Hitler; c) Josef Stalin; or d) Benito Mussolini.
9) Question: Which of the following directors was Negri’s most influential screen collaborator? a) Ernst Lubitsch; b) Billy Wilder; c) Cecil B. DeMille; or d) D.W. Griffith.
10) Question: Negri started out not as an actress but as — a) a dancer; b) a singer; c) a cello player; or d) a comedienne.