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Carmen (1918)

| Drama | 8 May 1921 (USA)
The tragic story of Don Jose, a Spanish cavalryman, who falls under the spell of a gypsy girl, Carmen, who treats him with both love and contempt and leads him into temptation and thus ... See full summary »


Ernst Lubitsch

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Cast overview:
Pola Negri ... Carmen
Harry Liedtke ... Don José Navarro
Leopold von Ledebur Leopold von Ledebur ... Garcia
Grete Diercks Grete Diercks ... Dolores
Wilhelm Diegelmann ... Gefängniswärter / Prison Guard
Heinrich Peer Heinrich Peer ... Englischer Offizier
Margarete Kupfer ... Carmens Wirtin - Landlady
Sophie Pagay Sophie Pagay ... Don Josés Mutter
Paul Conradi Paul Conradi ... Don Cairo
Max Kronert Max Kronert ... Remendado
Magnus Stifter Magnus Stifter ... Lt. Escamillo
Paul Biensfeldt Paul Biensfeldt ... Soldat
Victor Janson Victor Janson
Albert Venohr Albert Venohr


The tragic story of Don Jose, a Spanish cavalryman, who falls under the spell of a gypsy girl, Carmen, who treats him with both love and contempt and leads him into temptation and thus damnation. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A stirring love tale of Old Spain. Based on the original French version of Prosper Merimee's "Carmen" (1921 Gypsy Blood poster) See more »









Release Date:

8 May 1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gypsy Blood See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Pola Negri fled the film's press premiere in heavy rain to avoid being caught in a crossfire in street battles between between German strikers and government troops. She wrote in her memoirs, "The streets [of Berlin] were completely deserted. The only sound was the gunfire directly overhead, which crashed through the air with a deafening din. In order not to be hit by a stray bullet, I walked in short steps with my back pressed against the walls of the buildings. By the time I arrived [at the subway station], I was ringing wet." The next day, November 9, 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II was deposed as ruler of Germany. The First World War ended two days thereafter. See more »


Version of Carmen (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Seeing an opera made into a silent film is like going on a honeymoon where you aren't allowed to touch the bride!
21 November 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

It seems funny now, but back in the silent days, musicals and operas were often made into movies. But, without the beautiful music, you wonder what the point must have been. Well, Bizet's opera, "Carmen" was apparently very popular fodder during the silents, as I've seen two versions (plus Chaplin's "Burlesque of Carmen") and according to the excellent review already posted on IMDb, there is yet another version but it does not appear to exist any longer (starred Theda Bara). To me, not having the music is a fatal problem--so no matter how good the story is, too much of the play is missing for it to be all that great. Seeing "Carmen" without music is like going on a honeymoon and being told not to touch!! It loses a lot in the deal.

This German version has the distinction of being directed by a very young and inexperienced Ernst Lubitsch and starring the vampish Pola Negri (who was famous for her supposed adoration of Valentino...after he died). While it's pretty good and has relatively restrained acting and decent sets, the overall effect is just okay. It's not really bad...just what you'd expect from a butchered opera made into a silent film.

So is it worth seeing? Well, it all depends. If you are a total nut-job like me who adores silents, then by all means--though the ending seems all but missing. If you are a novice to silents, there are many, many, many silents out there that are simply more entertaining and interesting. Worth a look, but hardly a must-see.

By the way, I saw the version that was shortened slightly and renamed "Gypsy Blood". It came in at 64 minutes and I have no idea if the original and slightly longer version exists. Perhaps this shortening of the film could explain why it seemed to end so abruptly.

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