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A Daughter of Two Worlds (1920)

A Daughter of Two Worlds (1920) Norma Talmadge Film Corporation/First National. Produced by Joseph M. Schenck, Directed by James L. Young. Scenario by James L Young and Edmund Goulding. Camera by David Abel. Technical direction by Willard Reineck. Cast: Norma Talmadge, Jack Crosby, Virginia Lee, William Shea, Frank Sheridan, Joe Smiley, Gilbert Rooney, Charles Slattery, E.J. Radcliffe, Winifred Harris, Millicent Martin, Ned Burton. 6 reels. Copies of this film are located at the Library of Congress (35 mm., poor image quality) and at George Eastman House (35 mm., Danish intertitles)

English advertising for the film courtesy of Derek Boothroyd.

Pictures from the Photoplay novel
Review from Variety
Viewing comments

Pictures from the Photoplay novel

A Daughter of Two Worlds : A Novel of New York Life, by Leroy Scott (New York :Grosset & Dunlap, c1919)

Click on thumbnails for larger view

frontispiece A Scene from the Photoplay A Daughter of Two Worlds man holding apart fighting men A Scene from the Photoplay A Daughter of Two Worlds
man holds Norma's arm A Scene from the Photoplay A Daughter of Two Worlds courtroom A Scene from the Photoplay A Daughter of Two Worlds

Review from Variety, January 9, 1920


Jennie Malone Norma Talmadge
Black Jerry Malone Frank Sheridan
Kenneth Harrison Jack Crosby
Slim Jackson William Shea
Uncle George Sam Conway
Sergeant Casey Charles Slattery
Sue Harrison Virginia Lee
Gloria Millicent Harris
Mrs. Harrison Winifred Harris
John Harrison J.E. Radcliffe

Norma Talmadge's popularity as an actress lies in her ability to suggest the quick tears of sympathy behind all gayety and laughter. In a well suited role there is no better box office card and she is well suited in Joseph M. Schenck's First National attraction "A Daughter of Two Worlds." Founded on Leroy Scott's novel and improved as a film by Director James Young, this feature caught the Strand crowd's interest at once and held it. Emotionally effective all the way, full of two fisted action, pretty sex touches and charming photography, it is one of the best novelettes in film form flung on the screen in months.

Society stuff goes well and this is on the level. It starts off in a cheap saloon where little Jenny slips into the arms of a young dancer for a shimmy and then runs as a police detective appears. She has forged a check and Slim who got her to do it begs her to shield him. Even a beating from her father does not move her. They get her away and into a fashionable school under another name. From there she drifts into the New York social world and becomes engaged to the brother of a girl friend. Her old associates bother her but her dad comes to her rescue with his strong arm methods.

A youth of the old world who always loved her sneaks out to see her on the evening of her engagement party. On the hour a murder is committed. He is accused. As he is about to be executed, Jenny learns and realizes she can clear him by telling the truth. He was with her. She herself is wanted by the police and the thrill lies in her sacrifice. Quite naturally it all straightens out. In Miss Talmadge's support Frank Sheridan was particularly good.


Viewing comments

The beginning put me off a little, with schmaltzy titles and soft focus closeups of Norma as if to hit us over the head with her being sweet and adorable. But then it settled into being a reasonably absorbing film about a nice girl who lives in a dive who escapes and is hiding from the police. Her father is able to send her to a fancy girls school (and though she's a youthful looking woman, the PE clothes were a little much!), and she ends up engaged to a young society in high society. But an old aquaintance from the dive is trying to blackmail her and another old friend is headed for the chair for a murder he didn't commit, so she has to reveal her identity. For once her fiancé isn't a jerk. It seemed to have a major plot hole, though, in that I think her fiance's father was involved in some criminal activity as well, but then nothing ever comes of that except that one of his associates was the murderer. Somehow he's never involved with the law, so I was just puzzled waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Print viewed: 35 mm print at the Library of Congress.

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Last revised, October 9, 2010