THE LADY. Norma Talmadge Film Corp., 1925. Norma Talmadge, Wallace MacDonald, Brandon Hurst, Alf Goulding, Doris Lloyd, Marc McDermott, Paulette Duval. Screenplay by Frances Marion. Director: Frank Borzage, director. Shown at Cinefest 28, Syracuse NY, March 2008.

THE LADY Norma Talmadge

   Polly Pearl (Norma Talmadge) marries the dissolute son (Wallace MacDonald) of a British aristocrat. The father disinherits his son who gambles away what remains of his money in Monte Carlo and dies, leaving Polly with an infant son.

   She is singing in a Marseilles dive when her father-in-law turns up with his lawyer and attempts to take custody of the child. Polly entrusts the child to a British couple (a curate and his wife) and then spends years looking for him. Their reunion leads to momentary tragedy but the possibility of an eventual happier resolution.

   Norma Talmadge shines as the unfortunate Polly and the gifted director handles the unpromising materials with consummate skill, spinning cinematic gold out of straw.