Fun Size Review: Barbed Wire (1927)

Restrained and mature vehicle for Pola Negri; she plays a Frenchwoman whose farm is used to house German POW’s and both romance and a conflict of loyalty ensue. The film is helped along considerably by moody cinematography.

Negri and Clive Brook both give sensitive performances as the rarest of movie creatures: star-crossed lovers who are also capable of acting like adults. A forgotten treat. Highly recommended, especially if you have never seen one of Pola Negri’s films.

How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.
Negri and Brook’s romance is condemned but eventually accepted when her brother returns home from war and begs for peace.

Read my full-length review here.

If it were a dessert it would be: Blackberry with Red Wine Sorbet. Mature, perhaps a little dark but still a pleasure.

Availability: Released on DVD by Grapevine.


  1. Shari Polikoff

    I had just started delving into Pola Negri’s films when I got to see this one, and it became my favorite of hers. She and Clive Brook are as wonderful a romantic duo as Gaynor and Farrell.:-)

  2. Ken Mitchell

    Coincidentally just watched this last night. Had myself a good run of silents this week, what with The Show, East is East and now Barbed Wire. The end was a grandstanding affair but satisfying at the same time. Spot on review! I notice a few people in the Silent Film community get a bit sniffy about Grapevine but this is another wonderful film that is readily available to the public, in very watchable quality, thanks to their efforts.

    1. Fritzi Kramer

      Regarding Grapevine, I think people are welcome to try if they think they can do better. Otherwise, I just appreciate being able to see movies I never would have been able to watch otherwise.

  3. R.D. Stock

    Just watched it last night after quite a few years–wonderful film, for the reasons well described in your review. I also particularly liked the courtroom scene, with its complexity of situations, expressions, flashbacks. No need whatever for sound!
    Normally I hate cornball humor in serious films, but the scenes here seemed so…well, warm-hearted. Inspired by this viewing I have just ordered Grapevine’s “Woman He Scorned,” which supposedly has the original sound track. I’m looking forward to it! I am deeply indebted to Grapevine for many hours of pleasurable viewing.

    1. R.D. Stock

      For admirers of Pola Negri: I have just viewed Grapevine’s “Woman He Scorned.” Somewhat slow in places, it remains a beautiful film & well worth the attention of silent film or Negri lovers. Picture quality is very good. The original sound track shows the inevitable ravages of time & the limitations of 1929, but for those like myself interested in such things, it’s great to have it.

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