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Early Norma Talmadge short survives in archive.

Author: Arne Andersen ( from Putney, VT
2 May 2003

This is one of scores of shorts made by Norma Talmadge at the start of her career. It is also one of thirty such shorts known to have survived. A copy is housed at the National Film and Television Museum in London. This information is gleaned from Greta de Groat's web site on Norma Talmadge.

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A master stroke of genius

Author: deickemeyer from Chicago
28 September 2015

Whether "A Dixie Mother" will live up to advance opinion it deserves to be called great. It will easily take a high position among dramas of the year because of its many fine qualities, and it deserves praise because plays of that sort answer captious criticism, and many like them would do away with censorship altogether. The fact that it is evenly balanced in the requisites of success makes it difficult to say whether it excels in inspiration, in acting or in scenic effect, but it may safely be pronounced eminent in each respect. Very few dramatists and still fewer novelists have successfully depicted the American woman as she really is. She is so complex that she evades analysis. In "A Dixie Mother," however, she is a pure type. It would be difficult to name a nobler type of American woman than the Southern wife and mother during the Civil War. Northern mothers made equally noble sacrifices during the war, but, after it was all over, the sad burden of defeat fell on the shoulders of her Southern sister. The sentiment of the picture hovers around this beautiful central figure and is clearly shown in nearly every one of the many stirring and affecting scenes, scenes true to life. "A Dixie Mother" is strong as a character portrayal. The central character is not a forced one. Only once does the enraged mother show a strain of tigerish ferocity, when she picks out the man who killed her youngest son almost before her eyes. The rest of the portrayal is one of fortitude, great courage under affliction, deprivation and danger. Her eldest son is wounded and taken prisoner, her despairing husband is also terribly wounded, she has a helpless household on her hands, but she neither fails nor falters. After the war is over, the Dixie mother is a gentle creature and shows another kind of fortitude in the patient way that she confronts hardship and privation. There is no change in her enduring affection for her family, but her husband refuses to become reconciled to a union of the North and the South that has produced a new generation. The new generation is typified by her eldest son's baby waving the old flag. Heartbroken over this after-hatred, the mother begs and entreats in vain. Then her proud spirit breaks at last. She is on the verge of mental dissolution and death when her irreconcilable husband relents. When he does yield, it is by no half measures. He surrenders to the new generation with such old-time chivalry that we smile through our tears. "A Dixie Mother" is a master stroke of genius. This kind of a picture will be far reaching in its influence and a popular one for the South and of especial interest to the whole country. We are not alone in these opinions and inform the trade that they may not miss this wonderful "Life Portrayal." - The Moving Picture World, November 26, 1910

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