Norma Talmadge: single girl in the big city. Her bosses think that her duties include… well, let’s just say she has to slap a few of them. An idea! She disguises herself as a frump for her next job.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Social Secretary (1916)”
Norma Talmadge plays a Chinese maiden (hoo boy) who falls for American diplomat Thomas Meighan. It’s, um, well… It sure is something. I am sorry, China. I am so, so sorry.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Forbidden City (1918)”
It was the best of times… You get the idea. 300+ pages of French Revolution drama by Dickens squished down to twenty minutes by the Vitagraph film company.Continue reading “A Tale of Two Cities (1911) A Silent Film Review”
Poverty, college, sororities, shoplifting… Those last two topics aren’t often associated with silent film but they are the main subject of this Norma Talmadge short film. Norma’s a poor but well-connected student who can’t keep up with the lavish spending of her sisters. Next step: crime.Continue reading “The Helpful (?) Sisterhood (1914) A Silent Film Review”
This towering cinematic achievement is easily one of the greatest examples of silent era hokum that I have ever experienced. Joseph Schildkraut and Norma Talmadge are star-crossed lovers in Northern Africa wearing very silly clothes. I am entranced.
Norma Talmadge married in haste to Eugene Pallette and now she repents in leisure while he spends his nights with a showgirl and contemplates becoming a bank robber. So, maybe marriage counseling won’t be enough here…
Norma Talmadge plays an artist’s model who gives herself a bit of chemical stimulation and soon convinces the artist (Tully Marshall) to do the same. Addiction and degradation ensue in this social melodrama. (Drug addiction was a hot topic for silent films, along with a whole list of other social issues.)
Scandal! The heir to a fortune has married a bareback circus rider (Norma Talmadge) and his family is just having kittens about it! Doesn’t he realize that his bride has (whisper) worn tights?
Drugs! Norma Talmadge and Tully Marshall star as artistic types who find their best inspiration with a little chemical assistance. This ham-fisted cautionary tale features splendidly over-the-top intertitles and a charming performance from Talmadge.
There are bad movies and then there are movies that are so bad that they are accidental masterpieces. This is one of those movies. The plot revolves around Norma Talmadge, a Native American (!) woman who has been no better than she ought and ends up in a marriage of convenience with a very embarrassed Thomas Meighan. The title cards are masterpieces of hilarity and the clueless plot makes this one for the ages. High recommended.
Future “It” boy Antonio Moreno is seduced and abandoned by Norma Talmadge (the heartless despoiler of young Spaniards). He recovers but the couple is destined to meet again with far more fatal consequences. This over-the-top melodrama is one of Moreno’s earliest surviving starring roles.
Continue reading “John Rance, Gentleman (1914) A Silent Film Review”
Welcome back! I am cooking my way through the 1929 Photoplay cookbook (recipes of the stars!) and you are invited to tag along. (I have listed all the recipes I have tested on this dedicated page. Check back often.) Today, we will be testing a recipe from one of the biggest silent stars whose career has been almost forgotten.
What happens when a rich swell marries a bareback rider from the circus? Well, his mother is none too pleased, let me tell you. Norma Talmadge stars as the young woman who leaves the sawdust of the circus for a ritzier address, which (oddly enough) also includes belly dancers. Can the marriage survive?
Wetona is the daughter of a chief. Her problem is that she has been no better than she ought (if you take my meaning) and now papa is out to find her partner in hanky-panky. Poor Thomas Meighan stumbles into the situation and before you can say “It wasn’t me, sir, honest!” he finds himself a participant in a shotgun wedding. Oh my!
Mayme (Norma Talmadge) can’t keep a job. She’s far too pretty, you see, and the bosses won’t leave her alone. Meanwhile, the de Puyster family can’t keep a secretary. They’re far too pretty and get married. You can see where this one is going. Erich von Stroheim supports as a paparazzo. Light-hearted fun but questionable gender politics.
Continue reading “The Social Secretary (1916) A Silent Film Review”
Norma Talmadge and Thomas Meighan play an ill-fated interracial couple. When their secret marriage is discovered, Talmadge is executed by the Emperor of China for daring to marry a white man. Her daughter (also Talmadge) grows up and sets out to discover her American roots. A very, very odd film, full of outdated racial views and a rather icky father-daughter relationship.
Continue reading “The Forbidden City (1918) A Silent Film Review”