Sunday, May 23, 2010

Jason goes to the Niles Film Museum for Anna May Wong in THE TOLL OF THE SEA

But, as always, first a couple of shorts:

SPRING FEVER (1919): Harold Lloyd, early in the development of his "glasses" character. He plays a little hooky from work, and causes a bit of chaos with his mainstays Bebe Daniels and Snub Pollard. Pretty funny, but one of the early glasses characters shorts where he was quite a bit meaner/more mischievous than his later far more sympathetic characters.

SHOOT STRAIGHT (1923): Paul Parrott, looking every bit the spitting image of his big brother Charley Chase, goes a-hunting, and hilarity ensues.

Then the intermission, and back for the feature.

THE TOLL OF THE SEA (1922): This is doubly famous for being the first feature to have an Asian leading star (Anna May Wong) and for being the first to be shot in 2-strip Technicolor (and produced by Technicolor). And the color is still amazing. The story is a re-telling of Madame Butterfly moved to China. Young Lotus Flower (Wong) finds an American sailor washed up on the rocky beaches. She nurses him back to health, they fall in love, he goes home, forgets about her, she has his baby, he returns with his new wife...and the audience cries. And it's still totally effective.

Total Running Time: 74 minutes
My Total Minutes: 185,713
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