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Here’s a photo of Pola Negri in somewhat unconvincing Asian makeup as the heroine in the lost “East of Suez,” Paramount, 1924.  She plays the half-caste daughter born of an Englishman and the Chinese maid who took care of her an infant.  It was these kind of melodramatic roles in mediocre films that ultimately drained the audience’s goodwill towards her–not her voice, the Hays Code or her relationship with Valentino.  Having a Polish actress play half-Asian seems rather ludicrous–Mary Pickford tried it once as well and it didn’t work either.  Imagine the firestorm of bad publicity if someone tried to pulled this off today.

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