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Lotus Blossom (1921)

 |  Drama  |  1 December 1921 (USA)
5.2
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Title: Lotus Blossom (1921)

Lotus Blossom (1921) on IMDb 5.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
Lady Tsen Mei ...
Moy Tai
...
Quong Foo
...
Tartar Chief
Yutaka Abe ...
Quong Sung (as Jack Yutaka Abbe)
Goro Kino ...
The Emperor
James Wang ...
Professor Lowe Team
Chow Young ...
Tsze Sin
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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

1 December 1921 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The surviving reel (reel 5 of 7 total) was preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. To release it on DVD, it was copied at 20 frames per second from the 35mm print. See more »

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User Reviews

 
"To you alone of all the world will I give the precious formula"
22 January 2010 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

In early American cinema, Asians were often typecast as conniving opium smokers or otherwise unsavoury characters, as in DeMille's 'The Cheat (1915).' Griffith's 'Broken Blossoms (1919)' {on which director James B. Leong had worked} had a sympathetic portrayal of its leading Asian character, but even then the role was played by white actor Richard Barthelmess. 'Lotus Blossom (1921)' was produced by the Wah Ming Motion Picture Company, which strove to employ Asian-Americans both before and behind the camera. Despite being Leong's directorial debut, the film's surviving scenes indicate a high degree of technical proficiency; it looks as professional as any Hollywood film of its era.

The film is perhaps the only remaining example of silent era cinema from a Chinese-American production company, and was co-written, co-directed (with Francis J. Grandon) and produced by James B. Leong, who changed his name from Leong But-jung after emigrating from Shanghai in 1913. Of the seven reels that originally comprised 'Lotus Blossom,' only one (the fifth, running for 12 minutes at 20fps) is known to survive. This remaining reel of film is now available on Disc 2 of the DVD Collection "More Treasures from the American Film Archives," and was preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

For anyone who was left lost by the missing story pieces, this is what reportedly happened prior to reel five: a girl named Moy Tai (later played by "Lady" Tsen Mei) befriends an inventor, who is imprisoned for inventing a mechanical clock that threatens to replace the sacred bell. Years pass, and Moy Tai's father (Tully Marshall) is ordered to cast a new bell, facing execution if he fails. In the surviving reel, Moy Tai's lover (Jack Yukata Abbe) – dressed as a woman – murders a Tartar chief, while Moy Tai visits the feeble inventor in his prison cell to learn the secret of casting a bell. Significant both historically and culturally, 'Lotus Blossom' is a gracefully-filmed drama whose incompleteness is a genuine shame.


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