Norma Talmadge home

Constance Talmadge

Norma Talmadge and her younger sister Constance were two of the most beloved stars of the silent era. At first glance, they could hardly seem more different. Norma was a slight, soulful-eyed brunette beauty adept at "emotional" roles, while Constance a as a tall gawky blond, not particularly pretty but with a face full of mischief. Constance is best known today for her star-making role as the Mountain Girl in D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, but she has fewer surviving films than Norma. She appeared mostly light romantic comedies, usually playing willful young women in constant misunderstandings with the men in their lives. In their own times Constance Talmadge was the lower profile sister, but today she is more familiar than Norma; her madcap antics may be seen as a precursor to the screwball comedies of the 1930s. With their marvelously expressive faces, high spirited vitality, and effortless charm the Talmadge sisters had much in common after all.



Here are some scrapbook pages and a letter generously contributed by Joop van Dijk. Click on thumbnails to read or enlarge.

Scrapbook pages on Norma Talmadge's marriage to Dr. Carvel James. These scrapbook clippings relate to Norma and Constance's later life, with an article on Norma's marriage to Dr. Carvel James, and Constance's volunteer work at Memorial Cancer Center (lower right corner of the page on the left and the upper right of the page on the right) Norma and Constance Talmadge scrapbook pages

Constance Talmadge handwritten letter, 1970 or so, with a picture This letter was written to Mr. Van Dijk by Constance Talmadge, ca. 1970.
What I Think of Constance / What I Think of Norma
by Norma and Constance Talmadge
Movie Magazine, April 1926, p. 32 + (thanks to Derek Boothroyd for this article)

That Imp Constance, from Photoplay, April 1918

Canded of Virginia Withey with Constance Talmadage and Harrison Ford. On the left is Virginia Withey with Constance Talmadge and Harrison Ford. On the right is Withey with Constance and Natalie Talmadge. Virginia Philley Withey was an actress and writer and the wife of director Chester Withey. These photos were contributed by Eve Brown, whose great aunt was a friend of Virginia Withey Candid of Virginia Withey Constance and Natalie Talmadge

Filmography: Extant films

The Helpful Sisterhood. Dir.: Van Dyke Brooke, sc.: Margaret P. Dryden (Vitagraph US 1914) Cast: Norma Talmadge, Van Dyke Brooke, Mary Maurice, Constance Talmadge (extra), si., b&w, 2 reels of 2. Archive: Private collection? Available on video from Grapevine Video, online at The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/details/publicdomainTheHelpfulSisterhood)

The Peacemaker. Dir.: Van Dyke Brooke, sc.: Wm. A. Tremayne (Vitagraph US 1914) Cast: Van Dyke Brooke, NormaTalmadge, Antonio Moreno, Constance Talmadge, Maurice Costello, si., b&w, 1 reel of 2. Archive: MOMA.

The Evolution of Percival. Dir.: Lee Beggs, sc.: Edward J. Montagne & George H. Plympton. (Vitagraph US 1914) Cast: Billy Quirk, Constance Talmadge, si., b&w, 1 reel of 1 Archive: BFI/NFTVA [Note: Lacks opening title]

Fixing their Dads. Dir.: George D. Baker (Vitagraph US 1914) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Flora Finch, si., b&w, 1 reel of 1 Archive: BFI/NFTVA [Note: nitrate tinted positive and b/w dupes with considerable wear printed through]

The Egyptian Mummy. Dir. Lee Beggs, sc. A.A. Methley (Vitagraph US 1914) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Billy Quirk, si., b&w, 1 reel of 1. Archive: LOC. Available on video in the Nicolodia #1 collection from Unknown Video

In the Latin Quarter. Dir.: Lionel Belmore, sc.: Florence Bolles (Vitagraph US 1914) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Antonio Moreno, Edith Storey, S. Rankin Drew. si., b&w, reel 2 of 2 Archive: LOC BFI/NFTVA [142 ft.].

Billy, the Bear Tamer. Dir. Lee Beggs, sc.: Edward J. Montagne (Vitagraph US 1915) Cast: Billy Quirk, Charles Eldridge, Constance Talmadge, si., b&w, 1 reel of 1 Archive: LOC, UCLA, Academy Film Archive.

The Green Cat. Dir. Lee Beggs, sc.: Donald I. Buchanan (Vitagraph US 1915) Cast: Billy Quirk, Constance Talmadge, Lee Beggs, si. b&w. 1 reel of 1. Archive: GEH (35mm pos.; non-access)

The Lady of ShalottDir. C.J. Williams, sc.: Cecilie B. Peterson (Vitagraph US 1915) Cast: Flora Finch, Kate Price, William Shea, Jay Dwiggins, Constance Talmadge, si. b&w. 1 reel of 1. Archive: GEH(16mm)

The Battle Cry of Peace . Dir.: Wilfred North, prod./sc: J. Stuart Blackton (Vitagraph US 1915) Cast: Charles Richmann, Norma Talmadge, L. Rogers Lytton, James Morrison, Mary Maurice, Louise Beaudet, Constance Talmadge?, si., b&w, 1 condensed reel of 9. Archive: Cinemateket-Svenska Filminstitutet, GEH [Fragments]

Beached & Bleached. Dir. Louis Chaudet (MinA Film Company US 1916) Cast: William Parsons, Constance Talmadge, William Shea, si. b&w. 1 reel of 1. Archive: BFI

Intolerance. Dir./sc: D. W. Griffith (D. W. Grifith US 1916) Cast: Lillian Gish, Margery Wilson,Constance Talmadge, Mae Marsh, Robert Harron si., b&w, 13 reels of 13. Archive: UCLA. Available on video from Kino

The Microscope Mystery. Dir.: Paul Powell, sc.: William E. Wing (Fine Arts/Triangle US 1916) Cast: Wilfred Lucas, Constance Talmadge, Winifred Westover, si., b&w, reel 1 of 5. Archive: UCLA.

The Matrimaniac. Dir.: Paul Powell; sc.: Octavus Roy Cohen & J. U. Giesy (Fine Arts/Triangle US 1916) Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Constance Talmadge, Winifred Westover, si., b&w, 5 reels of 5. Archive: LOC. This is available on video from Kino.

The Girl of the Timber Claims. Dir.: Paul Powell, sc.: Mary H. O'Connor (Fine Arts/Triangle US 1917) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Clyde Hopkins, Margaret Talmadge, si., b&w, 2 reels of 5 (nitrate). Archive: LOC (no viewing print)

Betsy's Burglar. Dir.: Paul Powell, sc.: Frank E. Woods (Triangle/Fine Arts US 1917) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Kenneth Harlan, Monte Blue, Josephine Crowell, si., b&w. 4? reels of 5. Archive: MOMA.

Scandal. Dir.: Charles Giblyn. sc.: Bess Meredith & Charles Giblyn (Lewis J. Selznick Enterprises, Inc./Select US 1917) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Harry C. Browne, J. Herbert Frank. si., b&w, 4? reels of 5. Archive: MOMA, BFI/NFTVA [reel 3 only]

Up the road with Sallie. Dir.: William D. Taylor ; sc.: Julia Crawford Ivers. (Select Pictures Corp US 1918) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Norman Kerry, si., b&w, 7 reels of 7. Archive: UCLA.

A Pair of Silk Stockings. Dir.: Walter Edwards sc.: Edith M. Kennedy (Select Pictures Corp US 1918) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Harrison Ford, Wanda Hawley, si., b&w, 5 reels of 5. Archive: GEH. Available on video from the Great Lakes Cinephile Society

A Lady's Name. Dir.: Walter Edwards, sc.: Julia Crawford Ivers (Select Pictures Corp. US 1918) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Harrison Ford, ZaSu Pitts, si., b&w, 4? reels of 5. Archive: MOMA.

The Fall of Babylon. Dir./sc.: D.W. Griffith (D.W. Griffith US 1919) Cast: Tully Marshall, Constance Talmadge, Elmer Clifton, Seena Owen, Alfred Paget, si., b&w, 6 reels of 7. Archive: MOMA, LOC Cinématheque Royale Brussels, Blackhawk.

The Veiled Adventure. Dir.: Walter Edwards, sc.: Julia Crawford Ivers (Select Pictures Corp. US 1918) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Harrison Ford, Stanhope Wheatcroft, si., b&w, 5 reels of 5?. Archive: Private Collection.

Good Night, Paul. Dir.: Walter Edwards, sc.: Julia Crawford Ivers (Select Pictures Corp. US 1918) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Harrison Ford, Harrison Ford, John Steppling, Beatrice Van, Rosita Martini, si., b&w, ? reels of ?. Archive: Filmoteca Española, Madrid (35mm); Lobster Films, Paris.

A Tempermental Wife. Dir.: David Kirkland, John Emerson, sc. John Emerson & Anita Loos (Constance Talmadge Film Co./ Emerson-Loos Production/First National US 1919) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Wyndham Standing, Eulalie Jenson, si., b&w, 7 reels of 7. Archive: LOC. (nitrate positive, plus a safety preservation element, no viewing print)

Two Weeks. Dir.: Sidney A. Franklin, sc.: Anita Loos, John Emerson (Joseph M. Schenck Productions/Emerson-Loos Productions US 1920) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Conway Tearle, si., b&w reels 3-6 of 6 (nitrate negative plus a safety preservation element). Archive: LOC, UCLA

In Search of a Sinner. Dir.: David Kirkman, sc.: John Emerson & Anita Loos (Constance Talmadge Film Co./ First National US 1920) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Rockcliffe Fellowes, si., b&w, 5 reels of 5 Archive: LOC (nitrate negative, plus a safety preservation element, video viewing copy possibly incomplete and printed out of sequence), UCLA.

The Love Expert. Dir. David Kirkland, prod./sc.: John Emerson & Anita Loos (Constance Talmadge Film Co./Emerson-Loos Productions US 1920) Cast: Constance Talmadge, John Halliday, Natalie Talmadge, si., b&w, reels 1-3,5-6 of 6 (or 1-5 of 6, sources differ). Archive: LOC (nitrate negative, plus a safety preservation element, no viewing print), BFI/NFTVA.

The Perfect Woman. Dir. David Kirkland, prod./sc.: John Emerson & Anita Loos (Constance Talmadge Film Co./Emerson-Loos Productions US 1920) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Charles Meredith, Elizabeth Garrison, Joseph Burke, Ned Sparks, si., b&w, ? reels of ?. Archive: Lobster Films, Paris.

Mama's Affair. Dir.: Victor Fleming, prod. Joseph M.Schenck, sc.: John Emerson & Anita Loos (Constance Talmadge Film Co./First National US 1921) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Kenneth Harlan, si., b&w, 6 reels of 6. Archive: LOC.

Lessons in Love. Dir.: Ed R. Hyman, sc.: Grant Carpenter (Constance Talmadge Film Co./First National US 1921) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Kenneth Harlan, Flora Finch, si., b&w, 6 reels of 6. Archive: LOC (no viewing print).

Woman's Place. Dir.: Victor Fleming, sc.: John Emerson and Anita Loos (Constance Talmadge Film Co./First National US 1921) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Kenneth Harlan, Hassard Short, si., b&w, ? reels of ?. Archive: BFI.

The Primitive Lover. Dir.: Sidney A. Franklin, sc.: Frances Marion (Constance Talmadge Film Co./First National US 1922) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Harrison Ford, si, b&w 7 reels of 7. Archive: Academy Film Archive, GEH. Available on video from Unknown Video

East is West. Dir.: Sidney A. Franklin, sc.: Frances Marion (Constance Talmadge Film Co./First National US 1922) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Edward Burns, E.A. Warren, Warner Oland, si. b&w 8 reels of 8. Archive: Nederlands Filmmuseum (Nitrate decomp in reel 1)

The Dangerous Maid. Dir.: Victor Heerman, sc.: C. Gardner Sullivan, ph.: Glen MacWilliams (Joseph M. Schenck Productions/First National US 1923) Cast: Constance Talmadge, ConwayTearle, Tully Marshall, si., b&w, 8 reels of 8. Archive: LOC, Gosfilmofond.

The Goldfish. Dir.: Jerome Storm, sc.: C. Gardner Sullivan (Constance Talmadge Film Co./First National US 1924) Cast: Constance Talmadge , Jack Mulhall, Jean Hersholt, ZaSu Pitts, si., b&w, reel 7 of 7 (nitrate positive, plus a safety preservation element). Archive: LOC

Her Night of Romance. Dir. : Sidney A. Franklin., sc. Hans Kraly (Constance Talmadge Film Co./First National US 1924) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Ronald Colman, Jean Hersholt si., b&w, 8 reels of 8. Archive: LOC. Available on video from Kino

Learning to Love. Dir.: Sidney A. Franklin, prod.: Joseph M. Schenck. sc.; John Emerson & Anita Loos, ph.: Victor Milner (Talmadge Producing Corp. /First National US 1925) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Antonio Moreno, Emily Fitzroy, si., b&w, reels 2-6 of 7 (nitrate negative, plus a safety preservation element). Archive: LOC.

Her Sister from Paris. Dir: Sidney A. Franklin. sc.: Hans Kraly(Joseph M. Schenck Productions/ First National US 1925) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Ronald Colman, George K. Arthur, si., b&w, 7 reels of 7. Archive: LOC. Available on video from Kino

The Duchess of Buffalo. Dir.: Sidney A. Franklin, sc.: Hans Kraly (Constance Talmadge Film Co./First National US 1926) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Tullio Carminati, Chester Conklin, Edward Martindel, si., b&w, 7 reels of 7. Archive: LOC, GEH, UCLA, MOMA, Cinématheque Royale Brussels. Available on video from Grapevine Video

Venus of Venice. Dir.: Marshall A. Neilan, sc.: Wallace Smith (Constance Talmadge Film Corporation/First National US 1927) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Antonio Moreno, si., b&w, reels 1,2,4,5,6 of 7. Archive: GEH.

Breakfast at Sunrise. Dir.: Malcolm St. Clair, sc.: Gladys Unger, Fred De Gresac (Constance Talmadge Film Co./First National US 1927) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Alice White, Bryant Washburn, Don Alvarado si., b&w, 7 reels of 7. Archive: LOC, GEH.

Breakfast at Sunrise. Dir.: Malcolm St. Clair, sc.: Gladys Unger, Fred De Gresac (Constance Talmadge Film Co./First National US 1927) Cast: Constance Talmadge, Alice White, Bryant Washburn, Don Alvarado si., b&w, 7 reels of 7. Archive: LOC, GEH.

L'Amour espiegle. (1925) Cast: Constance Talmadge. Unidentifed Pathe Baby. Plot concerns Lina and Jimmy Warren, who marry in connection with an inheritance. Lina wants to teach Jimmy a lesson so dresses up as a maid. Archive: Nederlands Filmmuseum.

Filmography: Titles Not Extant

Buddy's Downfall, 1914; Buddy's First Call, 1914; Father's Timepiece, 1914; Forcing Dad's Consent, 1914; In Bridal Attire, 1914; The Maid from Sweden, 1914; The Moonstone of Fez, 1914; The Mysterious Lodger, 1914; Our Fairy Play, 1914; Uncle Bill, 1914; Bertie's Stratagem, 1915; Billy's Wager 1915; The Boarding House Feud, 1915; Burglarius Billy, 1915; Captivating Mary Carstairs, 1915; A Keyboard Strategy,1915; A Little Puritan, 1915; The Master of His House, 1915; Spades are Trumps, 1915; A Study in Tramps, 1915; The Vanishing Vault, 1915; You Can't Beat It, 1915; The Young Man Who Figgered, 1915; The Missing Links, 1916; The She Devil, 1916; The Honeymoon, 1917; The Studio Girl, 1918; The Shuttle, 1918, The Lesson, 1918; Sauce for the Goose, 1918; Mrs. Leffingwell's Boots, 1918; Who Cares?, 1919; Romance and Arabella, 1919; Experimental Marriage, 1919; Happiness À La Mode, 1919; A Virtuous Vamp, 1919; Good References, 1920 (rumor that this may exist in Prague); Dangerous Business, 1920; Wedding Bells, 1920; Polly of the Follies, 1922 (trailer recently preserved); Dulcy, 1923; In Hollywood with Potash and Perlmutter, 1924; Venus, 1929.




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Last revised, January 23, 2012