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Daughter of Shanghai  /  Madame Du Barry

Daughter of Shanghai
May 15, 2016 - 7:00 pm
Emily Carman.

Daughter of Shanghai  (1937)

Anna May Wong was the first Asian-American actress to achieve international fame, but her Hollywood career was a source of constant frustration.  Consigned to freelancing, Wong never secured real creative control over her pictures and so was largely forced into stereotyped supporting roles in B films.  The human trafficking thriller Daughter of Shanghai, however, was designed by Paramount as a starring vehicle for Wong and, notably, features her playing opposite an Asian-American lead actor (Philip Ahn). 

35mm, b/w, 62 min.  Production: Paramount Pictures. Distribution: Paramount Pictures.  Director: Robert Florey.  Based on a story by Garnett Weston.  Screenwriter: Gladys Unger, Garnett Weston.  Cinematographer: Charles Schoenbaum.  Editor: Ellsworth Hoagland.  With: Anna May Wong, Philip Ahn, Charles Bickford, Buster Crabbe, Cecil Cunningham.

Madame Du Barry  (1934)

After achieving Hollywood stardom with What Price Glory in 1926, Mexican-born Dolores Del Rio sought contractual protections against playing certain types of stereotyped roles. Her freelance contract at Warner Bros., for instance, gave her the right to refuse “any native girl or south seas island” pictures.  A salaciously witty, brocaded period piece in which Del Rio plays the titular French courtesan, Madame Du Barry was the first story she accepted when she arrived at the studio.   

16mm, b/w, 79 min.  Production: Warner Bros.  Distribution: Warner Bros.  Director: William Dieterle.  Screenwriter: Edward Chodorov.  Cinematographer: Sol Polito.  Editor: Herbert Levy.  With: Dolores Del Rio, Reginald Owen, Victor Joy, Osgood Perkins, Verree Teasdale.