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Mesmerizing silent film icon Pola Negri stars as Jeanne Becu, Countess of Barry, who rises from humble origins to become a plaything of the rich and powerful during the firestorm of the French Revolution. But it is her romance with King Louis XV, (Emil Jannings, The Last Laugh) that ends her ascent to power, and brings her into the shadow of the guillotine. Though he would later be associated with visually inventive (and sexually suggestive) romantic comedies, Ernst Lubitsch was a master of the historical epic during his years working in Germany. Released in the United States as Passion, Madame Dubarry was produced on an extraordinary scale, with enormous sets and literally thousands of extras. Yet Lubitsch's mastery of the psychological complexities of romance keep the human drama from being overwhelmed by the visual spectacle, cementing his reputation as one of the great directors of Europe and earning him an invitation to Hollywood.