The Lady (1925 film)

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The Lady
The Lady (1925) - 1.jpg
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Directed by Frank Borzage
Produced by  Norma Talmadge
  Joseph Schenck
Written by Frances Marion (scenario)
Based onThe Lady
by Martin Brown
Starring  Wallace MacDonald
  Norma Talmadge
Cinematography Tony Gaudio
Distributed by First National Pictures
Release date
 January 25, 1925 (New York City premiere)
 February 8, 1925 (nationwide)
Running time
8 reels; 7,357 feet
CountryUnited States
Language Silent (English intertitles)

The Lady is a 1925 American silent drama film starring Norma Talmadge and directed by Frank Borzage. [1] Talmadge's own production company produced the film with distribution by First National Pictures.



A young woman marries the wastrel son of a British aristocrat. Her husband, who has been disinherited by his father, loses what little money he has left gambling in casinos and then dies, leaving her penniless and with an infant son. When her former father-in-law tries to get custody of the child, she leaves him with a couple she trusts, but when she later goes to reclaim her son, she cannot find the people she left him with.



Still with Norma Talmadge and Wallace MacDonald Norma Talmadge and Wallace MacDonald in The Lady 01.jpg
Still with Norma Talmadge and Wallace MacDonald

Like many of Talmadge's silent films of the 1920s The Lady is derived from a stage play. The play, The Lady, ran on Broadway from December 4, 1923 to February 1924 at Charles Frohman's Empire Theatre. It was produced by A. H. Woods. Mary Nash played Talmadge's part of Polly Pearl and Elizabeth Risdon played Fanny Le Clare which in the film was played by Doris Lloyd. Also in the cast was child actor Junior Durkin soon to find bigger fame in films. [2]

The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, formed by the film industry in 1922, regulated the content of films through a list of subjects that were to be avoided. While Norma Talmadge portrayed a prostitute in The Lady, this was acceptable under the rules as prostitution was not explicitly barred so long as it was not forced (i.e., white slavery) and aspects of her work was not shown in the film. [3] While staying at the brothel, her work is stated as being limited to being a cabaret singer.


The Lady survives in the U.S. Library of Congress with reel 2 missing. The remaining elements of the film have severe beginning stages of nitrate decomposition making much of the film hard to follow. [1]

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  1. 1 2 Progressive Silent Film List: The Lady at Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  2. The Lady, Broadway play, database
  3. Campbell, Russell (1997). "Prostitution and Film Censorship in the USA" . Screening the Past (2): C/6. Retrieved July 5, 2020.