NORMA TALMADGE, GILBERT ROLAND | THE WOMAN DISPUTED (1928) Oversized pre-Code photo by Russell Ball


[Los Angeles: United Artists, 1928]. Vintage original 11 x 14″ (28 x 35 cm.) sepia-tinted double weight semi glossy silver gelatin photo. Minor waviness at edges. Photo attributed to photographer Russell Ball. About fine.

Based on Denison Clift’s 1926 play, in turn loosely based on Guy de Maupassant’s 1880 short story “Boule de Suif”, this is the story of an Austrian sex worker who finds herself the subject of two men’s competing romantic attentions on the eve of World War I. This film would signal the end of silent star Norma Talmadge‘s career; she would not make the transition to sound successfully.

Though not blatantly sexual, it would be portraits and scenes such as this which would give a sense of torrid storytelling in pre-Code Hollywood.

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