These days, not many silent film buffs can claim to have seen a Norma Talmadge film. Fewer still can claim to have seen a Norma Talmadge film on the big screen.
Despite the fact that she was one of the biggest stars of the silent era, few of her films have been commercially released. That is, until now. Recently, the good folks at KINO put out a DVD called the Norma Talmadge Collection, and it contains two fine films - Kiki (1926) and Within the Law (1923). Kiki was directed by Clarence Brown and co-stars Ronald Colman. Within the Law was directed by Frank Lloyd and co-stars Lew Cody.
In a couple of weeks, the Silent Film Festival will screen another Talmadge film, The Woman Disputed (1928). It may prove to be the revelation of the Festival. This splendid romance stars Norma Talmadge as a goodhearted streetwalker who is coveted by Austrian and Russian rivals. Gilbert Roland is also in the cast of this Henry King-directed work. You won't want to miss this excellent film - it is full of surprises and verve. Plus, it also features the always interesting Gustav von Seyffertitz.
Film historian Kevin Brownlow will introduce this little seen work. Earlier, he wrote, “I have just seen The Woman Disputed and it’s a remarkable piece of filmmaking. The plot takes Maupaussant’s "Boule de Suif" to extremes, but it succeeds so well as a brilliant piece of film craft that it MUST be brought back to life.”
For more on the actress, be sure and visit Greta de Groat's excellent and extensive "Norma Talmadge website." There is a page devoted to The Woman Disputed which gives some additional background on the film. There, you can even listen to an excerpt of a recording by The Gennett Concert Orchestra of a song, "Woman Disputed, I love you".