Dowdy Sylvia accepts her boss' marriage proposal, even though he only asked her to avoid marriage to another woman. As a wealthy wife, Sylvia changes from ugly duckling to uninhibited swan ... See full summary »
Young Ellen Neal gets work as a servant with the wealthy Fullerton family. She falls in love with the Fullerton's handsome young son. But he leaves her with child, and when she attempts to ... See full summary »
Hard-hitting news editor Jim Branch falls for high-society type Sharon Norwood but can't get to first base as he continually makes use of her knowledge of the rich and famous to try to ... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard
Actress Judy Carroll, from the gas-house district has been trained, educated and developed so well by her manager, that not even the publicity-seeking world of the theater has guessed her ... See full summary »
Angela and Bob Brooks are an upper class couple. Unfortunately, Bob is an unfaithful husband. But Angela has a plan to win back her husband's affections. An elaborate masquerade ball is to ... See full summary »
Hailed everywhere as the finest screen achievement in twenty years. Better than "Sally". Stronger than "Gold Diggers." Too big to describe. You must see it, and hear it, and live it. Lavish scenes in Technicolor. (Print Ad- Lafayette Ledger, ((Lafayette, Minn.)) 9 May 1930)
The 2-strip Technicolor sequence, running 442 feet, i.e. the flashbacks to San Francisco's Chinatown, when Sam was a child, only survives in black and white and has been given a Sepiatone treatment for the Turner Classic Movies presentation. See more »
A wealthy young man, raised as a SON OF THE GODS, must confront his Chinese heritage while living in a White world.
Although the premise upon which this film is based is almost certainly a biological impossibility and the secret of the plot when revealed at the movie's conclusion makes all which has preceded it faintly ludicrous, the story still serves up some decent entertainment and good acting.
Richard Barthelmess has the title role as the sweet-natured Oriental whose life is terribly complicated because he looks Caucasian. Barthelmess keeps the tone of his performance serious throughout, gazing intently into the middle distance (a mannerism he developed during Silent Days) whenever his character is indecently misused. He makes no attempt to replicate his classic performance in D. W. Griffith's BROKEN BLOSSOMS (1919) and this is to his credit. Beautiful Constance Bennett is the millionaire's daughter who makes Barthelmess miserable. She is gorgeous as always, but her behavior does not endear her to the viewer and her terrible illness in the final reel is kept mercifully off screen.
Multi-talented Frank Albertson has a small role as Barthelmess' improvident buddy. Serene E. Alyn Warren and blustery Anders Randolf play the leading stars' very different fathers, while Claude King distinguishes his brief appearance as the English author who befriends Barthelmess.
Movie mavens will recognize little Dickie Moore, uncredited, playing Barthelmess as a tiny child.
The original Technicolor of the flashback sequence has faded with time to a ruddy tint. The shot purporting to be the South of France instead looks suspiciously like Avalon on Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of Southern California.
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