Live Musical Accompaniment by Donald Sosin and John Mader


Castro Theatre Sat, Dec 5, 2015 9:15 PM
$16 General / $14 Member
Film Info
Director:E.A. Dupont
Cast:Anna May Wong
Gilda Gray
Jameson Thomas
Cyril Ritchard
King Hou Chang
Charles Laughton
Total Run Time:92 mins


After years of being typecast in Hollywood, Anna May Wong left for Europe in search of better roles. In British director E.A. Dupont’s proto-noir Piccadilly, Wong is mesmerizing. Mark Duguld of the British Film Institute writes, “For all its style and grace, the film’s strongest suit is Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong. Wong appeared in four other British films, and is best known today as support to Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express (US, d. Josef von Sternberg, 1932), but she was arguably never better used than here. As Shosho, the scullery maid who becomes a dance sensation and an object of desire for impresario Valentine (Jameson Thomas), she displays the cold ambition and manipulative sexuality of the classic femme fatale, while revealing—just occasionally—the vulnerability of a young girl. Shosho’s exoticism gives her an alarming sexual power over the men who watch her dance—‘I danced once before in Limehouse but there was trouble, men, knives...,’ she tells the transfixed Valentine, in a title which prefigures the narrative’s tragic end. To Wong’s frustration, Shosho and Valentine’s kiss was cut to appease the US censor.”

1929, UK, Directed by Ewald André Dupont, Cast: Anna May Wong, Gilda Gray, Jameson Thomas, Cyril Ritchard, King Hou Chang, Charles Laughton

Co-presented by the Center for Asian American Media and the Berkeley Art Museum • Pacific Film Archive

ASL interpretation provided