Last Days

An image from “The Last Days of Pompeii,” 1926.

If I had a movie theater I’d happily go broke showing films like “The Last Days of Pompeii” ( or “Gli Ultimi Giorni Di Pompei”) a 1926 silent movie with hand colored frames that recently had its first US showing at the Harvard Film Archive.

Stars included Rina de Liguoro, who cavorted topless, playing an Indian temptress in another 1923 film and later went to Hollywood—as Countess Liguoro—to work with Cecil B. Demille. Her foil in Pompeii was Maria Corda,  a bobbed divorce and superstar (in Germany) who later moved to New York and wrote novels.

Not only do they not make movies like they used to—yes, I’d trade hand-painted for CGI—they don’t make the stars that way either.


Another image from “The Last Days of Pompeii.”

Maria Corda…Love.

And another shot of Maria Corda…