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Nitrate Treasures: Daughter of Shanghai

Actors Anna May Wong and Philip Ahn.
September 18, 2022 - 7:00 pm
Intro by Anna Wong, niece of Anna May Wong; Sean Metzger, associate dean and professor, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

35mm nitrate print from the UCLA Film & Television Archive!

Daughter of Shanghai

U.S., 1937

Created as a star vehicle for Anna May Wong, the Los Angeles-born daughter of a Chinese immigrant family and the first Asian American female star in Hollywood, Paramount teamed her up with sympathetic French émigré director Robert Florey and high school friend/on-screen love interest Philip Ahn as the first Asian G-man depicted on screen. Together, they elevate this B-movie thriller to another level, with two Asian American lead characters in an era of accepted yellowface where white actors often played Asian characters, and, as a fresh departure, a plot centered around the villainy of its white characters. Canceled in March 2020 due to the earliest stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Archive is thrilled to finally bring this nitrate film print to the Billy Wilder Theater.

35mm nitrate, b&w, 62 min. 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.

Special thanks to our community partner: UCLA Asian American Studies Center.