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.)
If you’ve been trying to understand the appeal of Norma Talmadge but have not yet been able to quite get it, this film is a good choice. She gives a smart, sensitive and appealing performance.
How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.
The model cleans herself up and helps save the day when the newly-clean artist’s wife is in peril.
If it were a dessert it would be: Sazerac Cookies. Very much of an older time (these are flavored with absinthe) but most enjoyable.
Availability: The Devil’s Needle is available on DVD and Bluray from Kino Lorber.
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