October 18, 2002 (Friday) at 7:30 p.m.
(German, 1919, 85 minutes, b&w, 16mm)
The best of Lubitsch's earliest silent films, MADAME DUBARRY is the story of a poor French seamstress who sleeps her way to power in the court of King Louis XV. Legendary screen actress Pola Negri plays the courtesan, and the inimitable Emil Jannings plays the king. Released in the U.S. as PASSION, this costume drama shows early evidence of the "light touch" that would make Lubitsch famous for his sex farces in the '20s, '30s and '40s. The film also became a cause celèbre in France when it was banned in 1922 at the behest of right-wing royalists who claimed foreigners were distorting French history.