Report from Cinesation 2006: BELLA DONNA (**) Third and last film version of a Nazimova stage vehicle about a woman who falls fatally under the spell of a silky Egyptian charmer. Basically another variation on The Sheik, or like The Mummy without mummies, slow-moving and somewhat cheap but with a certain opium-fever-dream feel that works in its own way.
The fleshy Mary Ellis (a light opera star who originated Rose Marie) doesn't have the ethereality the spellbound sinner needs, and the rest of the British cast puts the stiff in stiff upper lip, so it's up to Conrad Veidt to raise the temperature above tepid, and to suggest perversities and cruelties his sturdy British colleagues never dreamt of.
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