The New Moon (1919)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |  
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This Norma Talmadge vehicle broached a subject that was timely in 1919 -the overthrow of the Russian government and the changes wrought by the new regime. Talmadge plays Princess Marie Pavlona and the picture opens at a sumptuous ball where she is awaiting her fiancé, Prince Michail Koloyar (Pedro deCordoba). But the Red army attack the palatial residence, leaving it in ruins. The lovers, however, have not been caught. Marie changes her identity and become Sonia Sazonoff, a peasant who runs a grocery shop. Meanwhile, the Prince is pretending to be Red to avoid suspicion, but he is caught. Although he is ordered to be shot, he manages to escape. And Sonia/Marie is having her own problems -- there has been an edict that all women between the ages of 23 and 32 are property of the State and must register (there apparently were newspaper reports of just such a decree in Russia at the time). Vicious ruler Kemenoff (Charles Gerard) is urging her to register so he can have her as his own, but she refuses. Instead, she is secretly helping women escape to the border. Finally she is caught doing this, and she is a good candidate for execution. But Prince Michail comes to her rescue, while Kemenoff commits suicide. The lovers exile themselves to a new home where they can be happy and free. With a plot that stretches credibility and facts, this was rather a weak film for Norma Talmadge. But it is interesting to note the sympathy thrown to the nobility, and the depiction of the revolutionaries as evil and bloodthirsty; it was more a statement on American politics of the era than on conditions in Russia.

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Keywords

craziness, escape, princess