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The Red Kimona (1925)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 16 November 1925 (USA)
A small town girl finds escape from her cruel home life in the arms of a handsome stranger. Soon she finds herself working as a prostitute in New Orleans, desperately clinging to the belief that he really loves her.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(by), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Gabrielle
Nellie Bly Baker ...
Clara
Carl Miller ...
Howard Blaine
...
The Matron
Virginia Pearson ...
Mrs. Fontaine
...
Gabrielle's Father (as Tyrone Power)
...
District Attorney
...
Freddy - the Chauffeur (as Theodore Von Eltz)
...
The Housekeeper
...
Mr. Mack (as George Seigman)
...
The Inquisitive One
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Storyline

In THE RED KIMONA, Priscilla Bonner plays Darley, a small town girl who finds escape from her cruel home life in the arms of a handsome stranger. Soon she finds herself working as a prostitute in New Orleans, desperately clinging to the belief that he really loves her. When she discovers him buying an engagement ring for another woman, she shoots him. Her murder trial becomes a cause celebre and Gabrielle finds herself befriended by a rich society woman who professes deep concern for the unfortunate girl. Directed by Dorothy Reid. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You Will Get a Thrill From MRS. WALLACE REID'S amazing story of the traffic in girls! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 1925 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Red Kimona  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The red kimono of the title appears as a brilliant red. See more »

Goofs

Set in 1917, the fashions and cars are contemporary with 1925, when the film was made. See more »

Quotes

The Housekeeper: [to Gabrielle] Mrs. Fontaine does not allow her books to be taken from this room.
Freddy - the Chauffeur: Now, Buttercup - you know that's the bunk - the Duchess don't even know she has a book.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Women Who Made the Movies (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

awkward start, then gets powerful
27 October 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Walter Lang directs this gripping if somewhat contrived saga adapted by Dorothy Arzner from a story by Adela Rogers St. Johns about fallen woman Gabrielle Darley (Priscilla Bonner). The first moments are bizarre, as we see Mrs. Wallace Reid (nee Dorothy Davenport), the film's producer, turning the pages of a bound collection of archival newspapers from 1917; she pauses at a story about Darley. She then turns to the camera and "talks" to the audience. This being a silent film, of course, we hear nothing but see her spoken words as text. I have never seen this device in a silent film before.

We then enter the Darley saga at mid-point in the red light district of New Orleans as the heroine learns from a fellow prostitute that the man who lured her into sin (Carl Miller) has deserted her to go to Los Angeles to get married. After some embarrassingly awkward histrionics by Bonner, whose emoting improves remarkably as the story progresses, we see her in the streets of L.A. and bingo, she just happens to run into Miller at a jeweler's shop as he is about to buy a wedding ring for the other woman! (Perhaps continuity scenes were filmed but cut here.) She confronts him, he shrugs her off as if her sudden appearance from hundreds of miles away is minor and unsurprising annoyance, she shoots him on the spot, sinks to her knees in penitent prayer and is promptly arrested and sent to jail.

Her case becomes a cause celebre, attracting hordes of curious sensation seekers, among whom is a then-common social-uplift type (Virginia Pearson) which was also satirized in Griffith's "Intolerance," who takes Darley in as a sort of trophy to show her trendy friends. And we are gradually drawn into the plight of this character by good acting, excellent photography (despite a few lapses into proscenium arch-ism), vivid characters as we root for Darley whose efforts to redeem herself seem to be crushed at every turn due to societal disapproval of her sordid past. Overall, the fashions and hairdos are very 1925 despite the fact that the whole story wraps up by 1917. In the beautifully preserved print I saw there is an appropriate and unobtrusive score by the prolific Robert Israel. The title derives from a hand- tinted garment owned by Darley which plays no important role in the story and seems to be a crude attempt at symbolism.


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