10 user 2 critic

The Social Secretary (1916)


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Cast overview:
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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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

cute and lively; fun for social history buffs
23 July 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had always heard that Norma Talmadge starred mainly in "women's weepies", but in this early film, she's more like a bouncy flapper. Norma stars as an attractive girl whose working life is made miserable by wolfish bosses, so she applies for her next job disguised as a frumpy spinster type. Action ensues when Norma has to stop the machinations of an evil cad and a snoopy society reporter (played with appropriate vulturishness by Erich Von Stroheim).

The film has winning performances, especially by Norma, some good cinematography, and a fairly engaging story. It will definitely interest those curious about 1916 society and everyday life. (It's interesting to see the 1916 definition of frumpy clothing, for example; the form-fitting, dark-colored clothes Norma wears as the "homely" girl would probably be considered sexier today than the fluffy garments she wears as the attractive girl. However, you can still get into the mindset of the time period and see how the latter garments would be perceived as more youthful and charming.)

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