Terrified at the prospect of making her talking-picture debut, silent-screen queen Norma Talmadge spent several months taking diction lessons before shooting commenced on New York Nights. The results were negligible: though she managed to keep her thick Brooklyn accent in check, Talmadge was ultimately defeated by the banalities of the script. Based on the stage play Tin Pan Alley, the film casts Talmadge as Broadway musical star Jill Deverne, the wife of struggling composer Fred Deverne (Gilbert Roland). Her new husband's drinking problem causes our heroine to seek solace in the arms of gangster Joe Prividi (John Wray), but after a bloody gangland shootout (filmed on location at New York's 125th Street Station), Jill is more than happy to return to the now-repentant Fred. After a second talkie attempt, Dubarry: Women of Passion, Norma Talmadge, a millionaire several times over, wisely elected to retire from films.
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