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Beautiful secretary Norma Talmadge (as Mayme) quits job after job because amorous men are always making sexual overtures. In order find steady work without sexual harassment, Ms. Talmadge decides to make herself look "extremely unattractive to men." Talmadge puts on a pair of glasses, pulls her hair up in a tight bun, and cuts out the cleavage. Talmadge is hired by wealthy matriarch Kate Lester (as Mrs. Peabody-de Puyster), who lives with boozy playboy son Gladden James (as Jimmie de Puyster) and heiress daughter Helen Weir (as Elsie de Puyster). Of course, Mr. James finds Talmadge romantically unappealing, until he meets her sans disguise...
While Talmadge and James fall in love, one of Talmadge's former caddish employers, Herbert French (as Count Limonittiez) loses his fortune, and begins to court Ms. Weir. Knowing he is only after Weir's money, Talmadge decides to catch Mr. French in a compromising position. Gossipy reporter Erich von Stroheim (as Adam Buzzard) causes everyone problems for everyone, by revealing their secrets in his newspaper society column. Real-life couple John Emerson and Anita Loos are notable contributors. While the situation is ludicrous; Talmadge's comic performance, von Stroheim's snooty support, and the New York locale are strengths.
****** The Social Secretary (9/17/16) John Emerson ~ Norma Talmadge, Gladden James, Erich von Stroheim
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