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Social Secretary / Forbidden City (Double Feature)

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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(Jun 21, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

The Social Secretary (1916) Mayme goes from one secretarial job to another fighting off the advances of her employers. To solve the problem she decides to work for a woman. As a precaution against any romantic notions that her employer's son may have she makes herself as ugly as possible - 52 minutes. The Forbidden City (1918) The daughter of a Chinese mandarin is sentenced to death for her secret marriage to an American. Their child, raised in the mandarin's palace, grows up and escapes to seek her father, now a high-ranking official in the Philippines - 62 minutes.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Norma Talmadge, Eric von Stroheim, Kate Lester, Thomas Meighan
  • Directors: John Emerson, Sidney Franklin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Silent
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Grapevine Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 21, 2011
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0030GW6YE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,373 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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It is good to see films of Norma Talmadge being gradually released for viewing on DVD. She was one of the most important and popular film actresses of the silent era from 1910 -1930. These 2 films were made just at the time she married producer Joseph Schenck and making her transistion from a midlevel star to a superstar.

Between these two movies, I much prefered "The Social Secretary" which has single/ attractive Norma being sexually harrassed in every job she gets and having to quit - there were no EEO or legal remidies avalaible in 1916 !! She deliberately makes herself unattractive and to get a job that advertises for an "unattractive social secretary" to work a prominent society matron and her family. Why ? Because the attractive women hired keep leaving to get married - good help was hard to keep in 1916 !!

A scandal sheet reporter {a slimey Eric von Strohiem} is stalking the family for sensationalist dirt to print - not much has changed in 95 + years when it comes to the media trying to find scandal to print on celebrity's except now it is politicians, film stars and "Hip Hop" superstars instead of the social elite.

Norma is saavy after all the groping situations she has prievously/successfully avoided and sees thru a phony fortune hunter and by energetic action, saves the young daughter from a disasterous engagement, bests the scandal sheet reporter and in the process has the son of her employer fall in love with her {after seeing her curves and without her glasses and hair pulled back}with the final punchline being Norma writing a new advertisement for another "unattractive social secretary". Norma underplays her scenes very effectively, the musical score is good and this is a nice little film.
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Forbidden City is one of those bits of silent Chinoiserie that is all mood and harsh emotion. Well worth seeing.
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