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Social Secretary/Forbidden City [DVD]
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The Social Secretary
Norma Talmadge plays a pretty young secretary who must dress dowdily to avoid the licentious overtures of her male employers. She takes a job as the social secretary to a wealthy woman, whose daughter is about to marry a nasty foreign count. Talmadgepulls a few strings to set the daughter on the right course. Out of gratitude, Talmadge's employer grants permission for the girl to marry her handsome son. A straightforward, unadorned comedy-drama, The Social Secretary is of interest today for the presence of Erich von Stroheim, cast as one of Talmadge's predatory former bosses (he should have played the count). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Forbidden City
In cinema's first few decades it was common for Caucasians to play Asian roles, and here Norma Talmadge is San San, the daughter of a Chinese mandarin (in fact, no Asians hold any major roles in this film). San San is in love with John Worden (Thomas Meighan), the secretary of the U.S. consulate, and they secretly marry. But while Worden is away, her status-seeking father gives her to the emperor (L. Rogers Lytton). But when the emperor finds out she has a child, he has her killed. The little girl, Toy (played as an adult by Talmadge), grows up and escapes from China to be a Red Cross nurse in Manila. There she meets Lieutenant Philip Halbert (Reed Hamilton) and they fall in love. However, Halbert's boss is Worden and he forbids them to marry. After sending Halbert away on a mission, Worden falls ill and is nursed back to health by Toy. He discovers that Toy is his own daughter and, remembering his own tragic young romance, changes his mind and gives his blessing to the couple. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Herbert Frank - The Count
  • Image coming soon
    Gladden James - Jimmie Van Puyster
  • Kate Lester
    Kate Lester - Mrs. Van Puyster
  • Image coming soon
    Vivian Ogden
  • Image coming soon
    Nathaniel Sack
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.