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The Voice from the Minaret (1923)

The Voice from the Minaret (1923) Norma Talmadge Productions/First National. Produced by Joseph M. Schenck. Directed by Frank Lloyd. Adaptation by Frances Marion. Photography by Tony Gaudio and Norbert Brodin. Cast: Norma Talmadge, Eugene O'Brien, Edwin Stevens, Winter Hall, Carl Gerard, Claire Du Brey, Lillian Lawrence, Albert Prisco. This film is LOST

Advertisement for Voice from the Minaret An advertisement for the film and a still (thanks to Derek Boothroyd for this) Lobby card for Voice from the Minaret

A coming attraction slide for this film from the George Eastman House

Still Photo on the Silent Ladies

Review from Variety
Capsule review in Photoplay
Review from Moving Picture World

Review from Variety, February 8, 1923

Voice from the Minaret

Joseph M. Schenck-First National attraction starring Norma Talmadge. Adapted from the play by Robert Hichens by Frances Marion. Directed by Frank Lloyd. shown at the Strand, New York, week Feb. 4

Lady Adrienne Carlyle Norma Talmadge
Andrew Fabian Eugene O'Brien
Lord Leslie Carlyle Edwin Stevens
Bishop Ellsworth Winter Hall
Secretary Barry Carl Gerard
Countess La Fontaine Clair Du Brey
Lady Gilbert Lillian Lawrence
Salelm Albert Presco

"The Voice from the Minaret" will give the Norma Talmadge fans entertainment. It seems a trifle lengthy, but nothing in it needs speeding.

The locale is in India, Africa and England. It is in India where Miss Talmadge as Lady Adrienne, wife of the Governor-General, falls in love with the young Englishman who is going into the church. In Africa they discover their love, and finally in England, after the wife has returned to the husband, on the latter's death the couple are left to work out their life's happiness.

In the opening is a corking polo game in which Eugene O'Brien plays an important role. Also several big scenes as far as the number of people used are concerned in the early reels. After the polo game is a reception in the Governor-General's gardens, where there is trick photography to permit a Hindoo fakir to do a couple of tricks. The African scenes are well worked out with an eye to atmosphere.

Playing the heavy is the late Edwin Stevens, who, as the husband, put over a role that in spots was as wonderful a piece of work as anything that was ever done by Mansfield on the stage.

The direction is good, Frank Lloyd keeping the story moving. His close shots held action instead of being mere posings.


Capsule review in Photoplay, July 1923

VOICE FROM THE MINARET, THE--First National.--A reunion of Norma Talmadge and Eugene O'Brien. Lovely renunciation. Desert Background. Good [Full review in April 1923]

Review from Moving Picture World, February 17, 1923

"The Voice From The Minaret"
Norma Talmadge and Eugene O'Brien in powerful Love Story that Should Prove Box-Office Winner
Reviewed by C.S. Sewell

Numerous angles of strong audience appeal make Norma Talmadge's newest first National production, "The voice From the Minaret," look like a sure-fire box office winner. Second only in importance to the presence of this popular star is that this picture marks the return of Eugene O'Brien, a star in his own right, as Miss Talmadge's leading man. This in itself will exert a strong drawing power with a large number of patrons who remember their work together in romantic roles a few seasons ago.

The picture is just the type of story in which audiences will like to see this pair, a romantic, well-directed, sumptuously mounted love story. Adapted from a widely read novel by one of the best writers of powerful romantic fiction, Robert Hichens, it proves to be an ideal vehicle. As is to be expected in a Hichen's story, there is much of the appeal of the Orient, with scenes in India, then the exotic atmosphere of the desert in which a wonderful love comes to the hero and heroine. But it is by no means a sheik story, for it is largely a story of suppressed love. The heroine following the call of duty returns to her husband while the hero becomes a clergyman. Later fate takes a hand and back in London brings about a happy solution.

The significance of the title comes from the fact that the hero during the moments of most intense love is brought back to reality and duty by the muezzin in the minaret calling the faithful to prayer.

There are many strong dramatic situations and just enough villainy and melodrama in the role of the heroine's husband to heighten the interest. It is a production which will appeal strongly to both sexes and women particularly will be attracted by the gorgeous gowns worn by the star. In every scene she appears in a different gown, all beautiful but unobtrusive.

The picture has been finely directed by Frank Lloyd, and, though it is not a spectacular production, has apparently been filmed without regard to expense, with gorgeous Oriental scenes and magnificent interiors.

The entire cast is in keeping with the excellence of the production. Norma Talmadge gives an especially fine performance and was never seen to better advantage; Eugene O'Brien capably handles the opposite role, while Edwin Stevens gives and excellent performance as the heroine's husband and Winter Hall is well cast as the Bishop.

From every standpoint this is one of Norma Talmadge's best pictures. Do not hesitate to book it, for it should thoroughly satisfy a large majority of your patrons.


Lady Adrienne Carlyle Norma Talmadge
Andrew Fabian Eugene O'Brien
Lord Carlyle Edwin Stevens
Bishop Winter Hall
Secretary Carl Gerard
Countess La Fontaine Clair DuBrey
Lady Gilbert Lillian Lawrence
Selim Albert Presco

Based on a novel and play by Robert Hichens.
Adapted by Francis Marion
Photographed by Tony Gaudio.
Length, 6,685 feet.

The Story
Lord Carlyle, governor of an Indian province, a ruthless type of a man, attracted by Adrienne's beauty, makes her his wife, but does not win her love. Andrew Fabian, studying for the ministry, comes to India. After a scene involving Carlyle and another woman Adrienne leaves him. She and Fabian meet aboard ship and he persuades her to join a pilgrimage to Damascus, where they learn to love each other. Called back to reality by the voice form the minaret, Adrienne returns to her husband and they soon go back to England. Fabian becomes minister of a church in London. They meet again. Carlyle, suspicious, arranges a ruse and learns the truth. As he is about to denounce Fabian an attack of an old malady kills him, and the lovers find happiness.

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Last revised, October 30, 2009