A Chinese-American woman tries to expose an illegal alien smuggling ring.
A Chinese-American woman tries to expose an illegal alien smuggling ring.
Viewed with the Amazing Edith’s *Collab Film Group*.
Leading lady Anna May Wong gets mixed up in an illegal immigrant smuggling ring, not as a victim of the smuggling, but as an unforeseen obstacle to the perpetrators committing the illegalities. Dragged into the mess via the tied hands of her father and the standing of his art business, she is left fending for herself in order to find the men that have troubled her family. Tight and economical the film does not waste its time introducing you to numerous characters and locations keeping a few cards up its sleeve to supply the somewhat overdone (but clever) twist. Interesting in this twist that the film is making a subtle jab at how…
“There goes $6000”
I returned to the theaters last night, with my son, to watch Mortal Kombat. Despite everything that happened in that gory, frenetic, live-action video game, I am STILL in complete shock over the first 2 and a half minutes of THIS film.
And quite honestly, between the two of them, I will remember this film more vividly, and recommend it more highly. Both are stories of people who were once blind to the truly evil forces in the world, but learn to find their inner strength and defeat them. But instead of a rag-tag team of muscle bound, Kung-Fu grip, insta-quippers, this film has real heroes. People who are warned against even raising their voices in public,…
4th Robert Florey (after The Life and Death of 9413: A Hollywood Extra, The Beast with Five Fingers and Murders in the Rue Morgue)
A very interesting film and not a half-bad thriller/proto-noir. It’s most famous for its star, Anna May Wong, probably the only regularly working Asian actress in Hollywood during the 1920s and 30s. This was one of a small handful of leading roles for a talented woman caught up in Hollywood’s racism; famously, she was passed over for a lead role in The Good Earth that eventually went to Luise Rainer, who later won an Oscar for it. But in the late 30s, Wong was given a couple of opportunities to star in four B-Pictures, Daughter of…
Daughter of Shanghai marked a return to Hollywood for Anna Mae Wong, coming as it did on the heels of a decamping to Europe, during which she starred on both stage and screen, and a lengthy trip to China, which she'd never previously visited. By this time, Wong was a big enough star to merit several lengthy interviews in the Hollywood press, including frank quotes about the reasons she had originally departed, like "there are so few roles that I can play and at the same time they seemed to be always small ones." The articles also, however, go out of their way to emphasis her status as an American ("Just a moment, you incredulous, who take for granted that…
I’m back at my collab station!!!! Hooray~!
An immensely enjoyable pulp boundary breaker featuring a Chinese American, Korean American, and an Irish American going hard against inhuman wasp scum in an impressive example of measured representation for 1937 Hollywood.
Anna May Wong is nothing short of an enduring style action icon here. With her husky voice and matter-of-fact delivery she escapes death, investigates human trafficking, travels to exotic locales, infiltrates crime rings, and uses her opponents own oriental fetishes to beguile and deceive them.
When this movie ended I wanted there to be at least half a dozen more Lan Ying Lin adventures to watch. I can’t believe we don’t have a single episode of the Anna May Wong TV…
This week’s Collab selection was a Paramount film from 1937 called Daughter of Shanghai. As the Wikipedians tell us, “Daughter of Shanghai is unique among 1930s Hollywood features for its portrayal of an Asian-focused theme with two prominent Asian-American performers as leads.”
Anna May Wong (who I remember fondly from Shanghai Express) does what she can to elevate the material (her presence is truly intoxicating), but she’s burdened with an uninspired script and supporting performances (which include a young Anthony Quinn, and Flash Gordon himself, Buster Crabbe) that regularly betray the production’s B-movie origins. As a fan of B-movies, this sort of thing isn’t a problem for me - the movie was a good spot of fun - but you…
While investigating her father's murder, a young woman tangles with a human trafficking ring. One of 59 productions released by Paramount in 1937, the main aspect that makes Daughter of Shanghai stand out from the companies' many other B adventures is that it's a starring vehicle for Asian American starlet, Anna May Wong. It is also follows a year long excursion to China designed to improve her image with a large market that wasn't entirely taken with her roles. The Shanghai film industry is very much a thing - so watching films from the 30s with Asian leads is not a rarity, however, seeing one made by Hollywood at this point is compelling. Hays code rules on depictions of miscegenation…
Anna May Wong stars in Daughter of Shanghai as Lan Ying Lin. I was surprised by the noir feel and didn't expect as much action as there was. There is a human smuggling ring: Lan Ying Lin aims to stop them before they stop her and others. Recommended for historical purposes, but not for the sometimes racist dialogue.
Inducted into Library of Congress' National Film Registry
American cinema's portrayals of Asian culture and the availability of major roles for Asian actors has always been fraught in some way with controversy, one that the industry is taking baby steps towards even if there's still a lot of progress to be made. Much of that lies in Classic Hollywood's preference of exaggerated stereotypes of East Asian culture and the typical practice of having whiteys play Asian characters if the role was important to any degree, with ambivalent regards towards characters like Fu Manchu or Charlie Chan that reinforced inaccuracies and demeaning generalizations that continue to be discussed by people who actually want to have a conversation about the negative connotations (as opposed to the bozos that look this…
A Collab go
As a piece of cinematic history, Daughter of Shanghai is beyond commendable, a true landmark opening the doors for Asian American actors and actresses in Hollywood. It's a surprising work in the best way possible.
As a movie in and of itself, it's not really more or less than serviceable in my opinion. The trite runtime works against it, even with the different pacing expectations upon its release; it gets the job done, but almost too efficiently for me not to want some more meandering to reflect some more personality. The film does, however, get major narrative props for making the early catalytic murder as impactful as possible. Very whole-hearted storytelling.
It's both superfluous and entirely necessary…
A Chinese-American woman goes undercover as a dancer to expose a ring of illegal immigrant smugglers, who are responsible for the murder of her father.
highlights & thoughts:
- a random Anthony Quinn appears!
- I love Anna's hair & every single outfit she wears.
- old timey audio is def ASMR for me.
- the phrase "entering Uncle Sam's backdoor" 🤭
- cutest romance ever, that ending was adorable.
- this was super short! Zack Snyder, take note!
Anyway, I liked this and would like to see more Asian lead,
American produced films in the future.
ᴡᴀᴛᴄʜᴇᴅ ᴡ/ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏʟʟᴀʙ 💃
While I'd argue Daughter of Shanghai peaks in the first twenty minutes through a series of shocking plot developments before settling into a more routine undercover crime investigation story, I feel it's worth highlighting as a monumental moment in Hollywood history by permitting a racially diverse cast with a woman leading the charge to triumph over the evils of white criminality. Like, this is seriously 84-years old? Sheeeeeeeit.