Length: 144 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 20 June 2011
Cat No: OPTD2093
Screen ratio 1:1.33
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Java Head / Tiger Bay
Cast: Ralph Richardson , Edmund Gwenn , Anna May Wong , John Loder , Elizabeth Allan , Herbert Lomas , Wally Patch , Henry Victor , Lawrence Grossmith , George Curzon , Roy Emerton , Rene Ray , Ernest Jay , B. Graham Soutten , Margaret Yarde , Brian Buchel , Grey Blake , John Marriner , Victor Garland
Double bill of dramas starring the first Chinese-American movie star, Anna May Wong. In ’Java Head’ (1934), noble Chinese girl Tapu Xuen... Read More
Anna May Wong was the first non-white star in Western movies but Hollywood never knew how to handle her. Frustrated by the pitiful roles she was given in the States, the Chinese-American actress decamped to Europe in search of better opportunities; this disc contains two of the films she made during her sojourn.
Java Head is a ripe Victorian melodrama set in Bristol. When sea captain John Loder returns home with a Chinese bride (Wong), his family are aghast but slowly take her to their bosom. But the happy union is threatened when he meets his former sweetheart and realises he still has feelings for her.
Elsewhere, Wong appeared in Tiger Bay (not the John Mills one). It's an atmospheric, exotic film; our heroine plays the owner of a dance hall in a seedy colony. When she's threatened by hoodlums, she takes matters into her own hands.
The release of Piccadilly a few years ago heralded the re-discovery of Anna May Wong as a great film presence; the two films presented here both further testify to her beguiling talent.