Adapted from the warhorse stage play by Willard Mack, The Dove proved a so-so vehicle for Norma Talmadge, but the lady's box-office appeal helped to overcome the film's weaker passages. Set in a mythical Mediterranean country, the story is motivated by despotic political boss Don José (Noah Beery Sr.) Madly in love with cabaret dancer Dolores (Talmadge), Don José is sorely annoyed when the girl evinces a preference for gambler Johnny Powell (Gilbert Roland). Pulling strings and calling in favors, Don José frames Johnny on a murder charge and sentences the poor fellow to the firing squad. But when Dolores implies that Don José is "less than a man" because he fears Johnny's competition, the villain relents and sets the gambler free -- losing his girl in the process, but regaining his bluster and bravado. The Dove was remade in 1932 as Girl of the Rio, then again in 1939 as The Girl and the Gambler; in both cases, Leo Carrillo took over from Noah Beery as the "good bad man."
by Hal Erickson synopsis