Viola Dana & Mabel Normand + Norma Talmadge & Constance Talmadge: Silent Society Movie Marathon

Colleen Moore, Ella Cinders
Mabel Normand
Colleen Moore in Alfred E. Green's Ella Cinders (top); Mabel Normand (bottom)

The Silent Society of Hollywood Heritage will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in the company of silent era superstars Norma Talmadge, Constance Talmadge, Colleen Moore, Viola Dana, and Mabel Normand. Never heard of them? Never seen them? Well, that's your loss. A loss that can be rectified on Saturday, April 2, at the Hollywood Heritage Museum, 2100 N. Highland Avenue, right across from the Hollywood Bowl.

The day-long rare-movie marathon will feature 16mm prints of the following: Viola Dana's melodrama The Innocence of Ruth (1916); Constance Talmadge's comedy of errors The Veiled Adventure (1919); Norma Talmadge's slice of exotica The Forbidden City (1918), co-starring future superstar Thomas Meighan and directed by The Good Earth's Sidney Franklin; the Mabel Normand short A Dash Through the Clouds (1912); and the Colleen Moore comedy Ella Cinders (1926), in which starstruck Ella wants to go Hollywood.

Now, who were those five actresses? In the early 1920s, Viola Dana was Metro's highest-paid female star. Norma Talmadge was the Queen of Hollywood Melodrama, while her sister Constance Talmadge was a delightful – and incredibly modern-looking and -acting – light comedienne.

Colleen Moore was the biggest female star at First National (later acquired by Warner Bros.) and one of the top three or four female Hollywood stars of the 1920s, along with Norma Talmadge and Mary Pickford. Moore also helped to launch the “flapper look.” Mabel Normand, for her part, was the foremost comedienne of the silent screen.

All films will feature live musical accompaniment by Michael Mortilla.

The Veiled Adventure Constance Talmadge poster

1:30 pm - THE INNOCENCE OF RUTH (1916) - starring Viola Dana and Edward Earle, directed by John H. Collins and produced for the Edison Company. Dana stars as an orphan who ends up torn between the man she loves and an unscrupulous businessman. Print courtesy of the Library of Congress.

2:30 pm – THE VEILED ADVENTURE (1919) - starring Constance Talmadge and Harrison Ford, directed by Walter Edwards and produced for the Select Pictures Corp. Talmadge and Ford star as a young couple whose attempts to get married are thwarted when she finds a gray veil in his overcoat setting off a series of misadventures.

4:00 pm - THE FORBIDDEN CITY (1918) - starring Norma Talmadge and Thomas Meighan, directed by Sidney Franklin and produced for Select Pictures Corp. Talmadge stars in a duel role, as the daughter of a Chinese Mandarin who secretly marries an American and their daughter who is later raised in the Emperor's harem.


7:30 pm - A DASH THROUGH THE CLOUDS (1912) - starring Mabel Normand and directed by Mack Sennett, this one-reel Biograph film served as a blue print for the films they would later make at Keystone. Mabel is an aviation enthusiast who rescues her suitor from an angry mob with the help of an airplane.

7:45 pm – ELLA CINDERS (1926) - starring Colleen Moore and Lloyd Hughes, directed by Alfred E. Green and produced for First National Pictures. Moore stars as a young Hollywood hopeful who tries to become a movie star in an attempt to win her boyfriends attention in this comedy based on the comic strip, “Ella Cinders.”

ALL DAY PASS - $15 for the general public and $10 for members. INDIVIDUAL FILMS - $10 for the general public and $5 for members.

For further information call Hollywood Heritage at (323) 874-4005, or visit For more information on The Silent Society:

Photos: Courtesy of The Silent Society.

Viola Dana & Mabel Normand + Norma Talmadge & Constance Talmadge: Silent Society Movie Marathon © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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