A lurid combination of Madame Butterfly and a natural disaster torn from the headlines, The Wrath of the Gods is mostly notable as an early collaboration between Sessue Hayakawa and Tsuru Aoki.
Sessue Hayakawa, Tsuru Aoki and Frank Borzage star in a Thomas Ince version of Madame Butterfly (but with, like, a happy ending). If you manage to get through this one without throwing something at the screen, you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.
Sessue Hayakawa stars as the San Francisco Tong’s deadliest hatchet man but then he is called upon to assassinate a fellow with an incredibly beautiful daughter. I bet you’ll never guess what happens instead!
Sessue Hayakawa’s sensitive look at the creative process of an eccentric painter is a production of rare beauty. Determined to craft a positive showcase for Japanese culture in Hollywood, Hayakawa and his co-star/wife Tsuru Aoki threw themselves into their roles and the result is a lovely, melancholy film that exceeds its ambitions.
Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Dragon Painter (1919)”
Sessue Hayakawa heads up this tale of Chinatown, opium smuggling and the Tong. He is a gangland assassin who is sent to kill a rival drug dealer. But wouldn’t you know it? His target has a beautiful daughter and Hayakawa has fallen head over heels. I smell a gang war…
Sessue Hayakawa headlines a story of art and madness. It’s all about a crazy painter who dreams of finding his princess– and the problems that arise when he finally does win her. Made by Hayakawa’s own production company and co-starring his talented wife, Tsuru Aoki, The Dragon Painter is yet another once-lost silent film that has been rediscovered.
Cecil B. DeMille-helmed tale of sordid revenge. Fannie Ward dips into the Red Cross funds to gamble on the stock market and loses all. Sussue Hayakawa is her platonic pal who will loan her the money if she becomes… less platonic. Things get nasty very fast. Lean and slick with a star-making performance from Hayakawa. Ward, however, emotes egregiously. Not for the easily offended.
A society woman’s plans to make easy money backfire and she turns to a Burmese businessman for help. He agrees to give her the money she needs… for a price. Excellent melodrama that showcased Sessue Hayakawa’s talents to the world. A major smash hit and the film that really put Cecil B. DeMille on the map as a director of premium entertainment.
Continue reading “The Cheat (1915) A Silent Film Review”