The Song of Love, at Clinton
I am alarmed I have
not heard from parents
for a long time. --
As Papa mentioned in an earlier entry, he loved to escape from his daily worries to the "land of enchantment" he found at the movies, an easy enough vice to indulge since both the Clinton Theatre and the Loewe's Delancey were around the corner from his apartment.
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The Song of Love would have met Papa's need for escapism; it was a big-budget Arabian extravaganza starring Norma Talmadge ("the highest-salaried screen actress," according to the New York Times review) playing a French spy masquerading as an Algerian belly dancer. Time Magazine described this as Talmadge's "first semi-vamp role," certainly a big deal at the time, though I imagine it was equally unusual for films to have a female co-director as this one did in the person of Frances Marion.
I haven't seen The Song of Love and it doesn't appear to be available on video (has anyone out there seen it?) but I did find this picture of Normal Talmadge at the Library of Congress Web site:
Papa had little relief from his anxiety over his ailing father in the old country -- his "alarmed" words at the end of this entry even look anxious on the page -- so I hope the lovely Ms. Talmadge's excursion into cinematic sensuality was enough to distract him, for at least a little while, from his worries.
- The Song of Love first opened at the Rivoli Theatre, described here in loving detail at cinematreasures.org. According to the write-up, one of the last movies to show there was the exploitation semi-classic Class of Nuke 'Em High, a film I know quite well since I co-wrote the sequels (Class of Nuke 'Em High Part II: The Subhumanoid Meltdown and Class of Nuke 'Em High Part III: The Good, The Bad and The Subhumanoid). I'm not sure why I mention this, other than to say it's weird to run across a reference to my own past while researching Papa's.
- Here's more on The Song of Love at IMDB.com
Norma Talmadge. Library of Congress #LC-B2- 5472-10