Smosarska, Jadwiga

(1898-1971)
   Star of prewar Polish cinema, as well as successful Warsaw theatrical actress, Smosarska was voted the most popular actress several times by film viewers in Poland. Smosarska became Sfinks's leading star in the 1920s after Pola Negri's departure for Germany. She started her career by playing supporting roles in propagandist patriotic pictures dealing with the Polish-Soviet war, such as Miracle on the Vistula (1921), directed by Ryszard Bolesławski. She achieved fame later, appearing in a number of melodramas produced by Sfinks, such as The Tram Stop Mystery (Tajemnica przystanku tramwajowego, 1922, Jan Kucharski) and The Slave of Love (Niewolnica miłości, 1923, Jan Kucharski, Stanisław Szebego, Adam Zagórski). Smosarska specialized in characters that embodied a number of cliched Polish female virtues. Her protagonists were patriotically minded, romantic, well bred, and beautiful, yet suffering the pangs of unhappy, often tragic, love. The peak of her career was the box-office hit of the 1920s, an unsophisticated love story that goes beyond class borders, The Leper (1926), directed by Edward Puchalski and Józef Węgrzyn, adapted from the best-selling novel by Helena Mniszek.
   Smosarska remained one of the major stars in the 1930s. She appeared in an early Polish attempt to produce a talking picture, To Siberia (1930), directed by Henryk Szaro, where she played a Polish noblewoman in love with a patriotic student who is later imprisoned by Russians. Smosarska continued her career with another patriotic picture directed by Szaro, The Year 1914 (Rok 1914, 1932), but was thriving in other genres as well. For example, she starred in prestigious historical films such as Barbara Radziwiłłówna (1936), directed by Józef Lejtes. She was also successful in comedies, for example Is Lucyna a Girl? (1934), where director Juliusz Gardan paired her with Eugeniusz Bodo, and social dramas such as Mieczysław Krawicz's I Lied (1937). The war halted her career. In 1939 she managed to leave Poland and settle in the United States where she stayed until 1970. She returned to Poland one year before her death.
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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