are many Internet sites featuring photographs (or short biographies)
of Polaire, giving her the name of Pauline Polaire.
Also, in her book
on Polaire published in 2009, Françoise Giraudet devotes two
pages to Polaire au cinéma (Polaire and the cinema)
and reproduces the postcard we show on the right along with
this comment: "Polaire under her film actress name: Pauline
However, this name does not appear in any of the countless
articles and features on Polaire that were published during
her lifetime, nor on any of the countless postcards representating
her that have been edited. And it does not appear once in
her autobiography, published in 1933.
But there was indeed a Pauline Polaire, as evidenced
by this postcard. An actress, probably Italian, very little
about her is known, except that she was born in 1905, and
that her most famous film is Maciste all'inferno (1926),
directed by Guido Brignone, in which she starred alongside
This postcard was released to mark the debut of this film.
With regards to the physical appearance, confusion with Polaire
seems inconceivable. In addi-tion, Polaire was 52 years
old when Maciste all'inferno was shot. Pauline Polaire
was 21 (assuming that she was actually born in 1905).
On a second postcard
of Pauline Polaire, also released when Maciste all'inferno
came out, the name of the film is shown. If we insist on this
point, this is because it creates a benchmark (the year 1926),
which confirms that Polaire can never be the actress on
these postcards, who was thirty years younger than she.
As we have said, we know very little about Pauline Polaire,
and we do not know what led her to choose this name. But what
we do not doubt is that she owes to this choice and to the
confusion it has created the largest part of what remains
of her reputation.
many thanks to Cynthia
the postcard we show on the French
and English versions
of this page and who has revised the English translation