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Theda Bara: The Original Vamp (A Fool There Was / The Unchastened Woman) (2-DVD)

Hollywood's first femme fatale, Theda Bara, stars in two of her rare films: "A Fool There Was" (1915) and "The Unchastened Woman" (1925).
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Format:  DVD-R  (2 Discs)
sku:  ALP 9746D
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DVD-R Details

  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Run Time: 2 hours, 18 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: March 7, 2017
  • Originally Released: 2017
  • Label: Alpha Video

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Hollywood's first femme fatale, Theda Bara, stars in two of her rare films: "A Fool There Was" (1915) and "The Unchastened Woman" (1925).

A Fool There Was (Silent): Inspired by Kipling's poem, "The Vampire," A Fool There Was catapulted Theda Bara into super-stardom. America was captivated by "The Vamp," a beautiful seductress who would use sex to ruin powerful men. With the studio publicists circulating exotic stories, such as her name being an anagram for "Arab Death," she would make scores of films for Fox over the next several years, most notably Salome and Cleopatra, both in 1918. Wealthy lawyer John Schuyler is appointed by the president as a special envoy to Great Britain. Leaving his wife and young daughter behind, he sets sail for England. On board he is waylaid by the beautiful and sensuous "Vampire," who quickly seduces the diplomat. Schuyler becomes helplessly addicted to her sexual charms, while she begins methodically draining his wealth. The once brilliant and accomplished lawyer is soon spiraling out-of-control, downward past the depths of depravity and hurtling toward self-destruction. Bonus: This release also includes The Sultan's Wife (1917) with Gloria Swanson and Bobby Vernon, and directed by Clarence G. Badger.

The Unchastened Woman (Silent): Modest housewife Caroline Knollys discovers that she is pregnant. Rushing to tell her husband Hubert, she finds him in the arms of a younger woman. Determined to one day have revenge, she escapes to Europe. Despite having the baby, she transforms herself from housewife to vamp, becoming the most-talked about woman in Venice. Returning to America, she uses the child to blackmail her husband and his mistress. But Caroline finds that her love for Hubert was not as dormant as she thought, and instead decides to use her newly-won confidence to reunite the family. The Unchastened Woman is one of only three surviving films starring Theda Bara, the silver screen's first sex symbol. She made more than 40 films between 1914 and 1926, but most were destroyed by the 1937 fire that struck the 20th Century Fox storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey (The other two surviving Bara films are A Fool There Was from 1915 and East Lynne from 1916). Nicknamed "The Vamp" for her femme fatale roles that inevitably brought male characters to ruin, the exotic-looking Bara was said to be born in the Sahara to an Arab sheik. In actuality, she was born to a Polish family in Cincinnati, Ohio. Regardless, publicists enjoyed emphasizing that her name was an anagram of "Arab death". Eventually tiring of the vamp image, she let her contract with Fox expire in 1919. Without studio support, Bara's career suffered and she did not make another film until small startup company Chadwick Pictures signed her to star in The Unchastened Woman. Not proving to be the comeback she wished for, Bara never starred in another feature, retiring to her former home in Cincinnati.

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  • Sales Rank: 24,319
  • UPC: 089218974693
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 2 items

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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