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Anna May Wong as SOTM May 2022


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I liked her in her role in Shanghai Express.    I find this Josef von Sternberg film hypnotic, and I mean that in a literal sense. Those scenes on the train- the long intervals in a couple of scenes where the only sound is the clack-clack, clack-clack of the train on the tracks, mesmerize me.

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I'm all for this but apparently TCM has decided to only show a fraction of the films she did.  Looks like they are showing 2, maybe 3 Anna May Wong films each week. Surely there are more. I know she did several silent films.  Not sure of their availability (or of the size of her roles in those) but that would be fascinating viewing.

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41 minutes ago, lydecker said:

I'm all for this but apparently TCM has decided to only show a fraction of the films she did.  Looks like they are showing 2, maybe 3 Anna May Wong films each week. Surely there are more. I know she did several silent films.  Not sure of their availability (or of the size of her roles in those) but that would be fascinating viewing.

Can you post the line-up?   Thanks 

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Screen Shot 2022-03-12 at 12.00.30 PM

May 5th & 6th

THE TOLL OF THE SEA (1922)
YELLOWFACE: ASIAN WHITEWASHING AND RACISM IN HOLLYWOOD (2019)
MR. WU (1927)
OLD SAN FRANCISCO (1927)

May 12th & 13th

PICCADILLY (1929)
SHANGHAI EXPRESS (1932)
DAUGHTER OF THE DRAGON (1931)

May 19th & 20th

DAUGHTER OF SHANGHAI (1938)
A STUDY IN SCARLET (1933)
WHEN WERE YOU BORN (1938)
YELLOWFACE: ASIAN WHITEWASHING AND RACISM IN HOLLYWOOD (2019)

May 26th & 27th

LADY FROM CHUNGKING (1942)
IMPACT (1949)
PORTRAIT IN BLACK (1960)

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On 3/12/2022 at 12:27 PM, lydecker said:

I'm all for this but apparently TCM has decided to only show a fraction of the films she did.  Looks like they are showing 2, maybe 3 Anna May Wong films each week. Surely there are more. I know she did several silent films.  Not sure of their availability (or of the size of her roles in those) but that would be fascinating viewing.

It seems as though TCM is in sort of the same position they were in with Dorothy Dandridge, fleshing out a limited career for a month of programming. But the "lesson" here is the same and I for one won't object to TCM hosts pointing out the "political" fact that her career suffered because of her race. It's the simple truth. MGM wouldn't even consider her for The Good Earth (1937), which was a natural fit and maybe would have been career-defining for her. I hope the last TBA is Portrait in Black (1960), in which her character was maybe a little dragon-lady-ish but had more good sense and smarts than the characters around her. It's Universal but TCM has shown it before so there's really no good excuse not to. It shows she could still nail a character near the end of her life. I remember reading that she had been signed by Ross Hunter (who was instrumental in getting her back to the screen in Portrait) for Flower Drum Song (I assume for Madame Liang.) but died right before filming. I like Juanita Hall very much but I'd be interested to have seen what Anna May Wong would have done with the character, though I assume she was a non-singer. Anyway, I agree with Unwatchable about Shanghai Express, so where the hell is it? It's a must-have for a tribute like this, so I hope it's the TBA on the 19th. 

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I assume they will show Daughter of Shanghai, in which she and Philip Ahn play the protagonists, which was unusual for 1937.  I've tried to watch the silent Piccadilly, but the new score, created for the restoration, makes the film unwatchable. (And we know how annoying "Unwatchable" can be!) 😀 

I actually hope they show the un-restored version!

 

 

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On 3/17/2022 at 9:08 AM, DougieB said:

It seems as though TCM is in sort of the same position they were in with Dorothy Dandridge, fleshing out a limited career for a month of programming. But the "lesson" here is the same and I for one won't object to TCM hosts pointing out the "political" fact that her career suffered because of her race. It's the simple truth. MGM wouldn't even consider her for The Good Earth (1937), which was a natural fit and maybe would have been career-defining for her. 

More to the point, they wanted her to play the exotic, prostitute Lotus, that wrecks O-Lan's marriage by Wang Lung making her Wife No. Two.  They didn't want her to play heroic lead O-Lan.  It was completely cemented that they didn't want her for the role when Paul Muni was cast due to the anti-miscegenation rules of Hollywood.  The Chinese "Gone With the Wind" and they have the Asian American actors playing fools, villains or periphery characters.

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