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The Song of Love (1923)

A desert dancing girl fights to protect the French agent she loves.


(adaptation), (novel)


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Cast overview:
... Noorma-hal
... Raymon Valverde
... Ramlika
... Dick Jones (as Laurence Wheat)
Maude Wayne ... Maureen Desmard
Earl Schenck ... Commissionnaire Desmard
Hector V. Sarno ... Chandra-lal
Albert Prisco ... Chamba
Mario Carillo ... Capt. Fregonne
James Cooley ... Dr. Humbert


A desert dancing girl fights to protect the French agent she loves.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A New Norma in a Drama of Mad Loves, Fierce Hates and the Clash of Steel on Desert Sands.







Release Date:

24 December 1923 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dust of Desire  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Gross USA:

$223,125, 31 December 1924
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A November, 1923, interview with cinematographer Tony Gaudio mentioned that 400 cast and technicians worked on location in Oxnard for this film's desert scenes. See more »


The Song of Love
Words by Jimmy Campbell
Music by Reginald Connelly (as Reg Connelly)
[c. 1924 (Great Britain), 'Inspired by the Associated First National Film "The Song of Love" starring Norma Talmadge]
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User Reviews

Full of Ridiculous Moments
24 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

Given the movies' fascination with Arabia -- one need only consider Valentino as THE SHEIK, the frequent remakes of BEAU GESTE, UNDER TWO FLAGS, THE FOUR FEATHERS, and David Lean's LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, this should have been an interesting movie. Unhappily, it isn't. I have seen about half a dozen of Miss Talmadge's starring films and they are typical industry superstar productions: lots of money spent on production values -- the sets, particularly the interiors, are gorgeous and the compositions great, but what happened to the script? Particularly when it was written by Frances Marion? I think too many of the choices were directed towards what was hot at the moment. Imagine Oscar winner Joseph Schildkraut made up to look like Valentino, including spit curls, depending on which shot you're looking at, and you will understand some of the issues. Others include:

Miscasting: Miss Talmadge is the most Irish-looking Arab you'll ever see. Yes, I know the name 'Talmadge' is Welsh. She still looks Irish. She also looks as if she has recently lost a lot of weight. Did she and Joe Schenck have children and were any born a few months before this went into production?

Plot Holes: a character is caught by the Tuareg army, shot, left for dead and still beats the army into town by half an hour.

Silly Details: Miss Talmadge's character is named Normahal. Does this mean she is normal, actually Norma Halmaj or the first cousin on her father's side to the Taj Mahal?

It is said that Mary Pickford seriously considered having her films destroyed at her death. That would have been a pity, as Miss Pickford's films are always honest in their emotional and story-telling bases. Miss Talmadge's movies, in this period, however, would seem to be the sort of over-produced tripe that is better forgotten, no matter how popular it was at the time.

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