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The Social Secretary (1916)


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Cast overview:
Kate Lester ...
Mrs. de Puyster
Helen Weir ...
Elsie de Puyster
Jimmie de Puyster
Herbert French ...
The Count
The Buzzard
Nathaniel Sack


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Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

17 September 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De particuliere secretaresse  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Loopy romantic comedy where ugly is a virtue
30 July 2003 | by (Manhattan Beach, CA) – See all my reviews

After several bad experiences with hormonally overactive employers, Mayme, played by Norma Talmadge, dowdies herself up to take a job as a social secretary for Mrs. Von Puyster, the matriarch of a wealthy Riverside Drive family. (Ironically and coincidentally, just when Mayme has become fed up with her lecherous male bosses, Von Puyster has requested an unattractive applicant as the previous secretaries have left the job to get married--perhaps this would have made a bit more sense if Von Puyster were an unlecherous male, but whatever). Mayme quickly becomes close to the Von Puyster family. She is like a sister to daughter Elsie, and Mrs. Von Puyster thinks she does a fine job, and once son Jimmy (a drunk) accidentally sees the real un-uglified Mayme he becomes smitten (and cleans up his act instantly to become a good guy!--which is a bit awkward since we don't really like him to begin with, but oh well...) Mayme and Jimmie carry on a secret romance until they are found out by a smarmy reporter (played wonderfully by Erich von Stroheim). The threat of imminent exposure by the reporter, in addition to Elsie Von Puyster's marraige proposal by one of Mayme's lascivious ex-bosses, force Mayme to end her charade. The movie is fun, although the plot is at times oddly convenient, and definitely worth seeing if you have the chance.

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