Directed by Frank Borzage
Produced by Joseph M. Schenck Productions
Scenario by Frances Marion, from the play Secrets by Rudolf Besier and May Edginton
Starring Norma Talmadge, Eugene O'Brien, George Nichols, Emily Fitzroy, Claire McDowell, Gertrude Astor, Alice Day
Cinematography Tony Gaudio
Distributed by Associated First National Pictures
Release date March 24, 1924
Running time 80 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film, English intertitles
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"Secrets" is a moving drama, included in our program to illustrate the work and contributions of our star Alice Day. The surviving print of the film is missing some scenes. Unfortunately, in the lost episodes is the performance of Alice Day in her first dramatic role.
An old lady reads her diary and recollects her life in the past 60 years.
Review from Variety, March 26, 1924
Norma Talmadge is here in the greatest role she has ever been seen in on the screen. As Mary Carlton in "Secrets" she is shown first as a woman past 70, and then, as the action turns back, she is successively in girlhood, young wifehood, a middle-aged mother and then, finally, again as the aged but still loving and beloved wife.
It is a picture that is going to be a tremendous drawing card with women of all ages from the flappers to the grandmothers, and they are all going to love it.
On the screen "Secrets" is a far better entertainment than it was on the spoken stage. Its punches are driven home with greater effect than they were in the spoken play, and the interpretation Miss Talmadge gives of the wife who never wavered, but remained firm in the belief that her husband still loved her best of all, even at the times that she knew he was unfaithful, is something that will go down in film history. It is a work of art, deftly handled with a divine touch that makes it stand out as one of the greatest screen characterizations in years.
In casting Eugene O'Brien for the lead opposite Miss Talmadge, Joe Schenck made doubly sure of the selling value of the picture. Miss Talmadge and O'Brien as star and leading man built up a screen reputation in a series of pictures five years ago that helped a great deal toward Miss Talmadge's popularity. In "Secrets" O'Brien plays opposite her with the same verve he displayed in the earlier pictures, and the combination of the two is going to be one of the things the fans won't be able to resist.
The balance of the cast is more than adequate; it is splendid.
Review from Photoplay, April 1924
Married life is made up of secrets--of moments that are hidden away in the silent places of the heart. The poignant secrets of one marriage have been revealed in this picture--with Norma Talmadge as the wife and Eugene O'Brien as the husband. The story is reflected back, across the years, from the pages of a diary--held in the withered hand of a woman who is waiting to hear of her husband's death.
The romance of youth, the elopement. The struggle, as pioneers in a new land. The death of the first baby--during a battle for the lives of all of them! Wealth, at last, and success--bringing, however, the question of the "other woman." Through all of these tense situations we follow and if, at times, the tears are close, we are not ashamed to admit it!
The film has an excellent rating in IMDB.
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Below is a short preview of the film.
Norma Talmadge, Eugene O'Brien and Gertrude Astor in a publicity still