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For decades I heard that superstar Norma Talmadge fled from talkies because of her New York accent. Not true! Finally getting to see DuBarry, it's evident that Talmadge's accent and voice were just fine. While the film is static and the story tame, Talmadge is quite good as the French courtesan. Her opening scene is a hoot. With her foot caught in the water, she is caught by Conrad Nagel. Her clothes are in a nearby tree. Norma comes up for air sputtering and spitting water. Always known as a great dramatic actress, Talmadge was also a good comic and has fun in a few scenes in this film. The print I have is lousy, but it's good enough to get a glimpse of what Talmadge could have been in talkies. Nagel is OK as the doomed lover. William Farnum is Louis, Alison Skipworth the madame, Ullrich Haupt is the "husband," and Eugenie Besserer is Rosalie. Although the sound revolution destroyed many Hollywood careers, Norma Talmadage may have been the greatest victim.
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