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The Secret of the Storm Country (1917)

This lost film was a sequel to Tess of the Storm Country, filmed by Pickford in 1914 (and again in 1922). It was produced for the Norma Talmadge Film Corporation by Joseph M. Schenck, adapted by Mary Murillo and directed by Charles Miller. Talmadge played Tess Skinner, who is secretly married to Frederick Graves (Niles Welch). His parents then force him to marry a rich woman, Madelene Walderstricker (Ethel G. Terry), but he never admits that he already has a wife, leaving Tess with a child to face social ostracism. She also remains silent, and is befriended by the middle aged Mr. Young (Charles Gotthold), whom she marries after Frederick's death. The rest of the cast included Edward D. Denison (Orn Skinner), J. Herbert Frank (Ebenezer Walderstricker), and Mrs. J. J. Brundage (Mrs. Graves).

Poster and Production stills from the film
Review from Variety

Poster from Secret of the Storm Sountry A poster from the film. Thanks for Ajia Simone and Edwin Denison for the photo.
Click thumbnail for a larger view

Poster and Production stills from The Secret of the Storm Country, featuring Norma Talmadge and Edwin Denison.

Thanks to Edwin Denison's grandson David Denison for sharing these photos.

Click on thumbnails for larger view

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Production still Production still
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Review from Variety, November 9, 1917


A Select feature starring Norma Talmadge in the role of an ignorant child, the daughter of an ex-convict who is a member of a colony of squatters, the theme running through a channel of love and adventure and permitting the selection of some wonderful exteriors, which are equally wonderfully arranged and directed in this print. There is a genuine heart throb in the experiences of the little girl, a part excellently handled by the star, and the director manages to make it mainly human without the usual touches of melodramatic pathos. The squatter's daughter, Tess (Miss Talmadge), falls in love with the young man who has been chosen, via the parental route, as the husband of the village heiress, daughter of the heartless Squire. The love tangle that ensues is semi-thrilling in every angle, but the finale bringing no complete adjustment, but rather a satisfactory ending that provides the usual film happiness for everyone concerned. Miss Talmadge has a unique personality in her film work, bringing out many detailed points akin to the part that stars of similar roles have singularly overlooked. She gives the part a touch of realness that carries its own appeal, and never seems to "spread" herself for solo effects, but rather works toward the collective benefits. The cast was well drawn, every role being nicely fit with the proper type. The Squatter's village was expertly pictured here and the exteriors, which are the main scenes in the feature, were built on a rather mammoth scale, but detailed with a finesse that was somewhat surprising. As a feature it's interesting to a degree seldom reached by others.


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Last revised, March 31, 2006