While honeymooning in Paris Elsie is rescued from attentions of a man.Her hero is Don Arturo who takes her to Countess Longueval after her husband must go for work to Argentine.When her ... See full summary »
Raised by his grandfather to adhere to the ancient laws of China, Mandarin Wu is a strict authoritarian. However, he is a doting father to his beautiful daughter Nang Ping. Nang Ping is to be married to a man of her father's choosing, a man she does not even know. But she falls in love with a dashing British visitor to China, Basil Gregory. Basil informs Nang Ping that he must return to Britain with his family, but she surprises him with the revelation that she carries his child. Wu learns of his daughter's dishonor and lets the ancient laws of China lead him relentlessly toward tragedy. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For the hundred-year-old look, Wu Chaney build up his cheekbones and lips with cotton and collodion. Into his nostrils were inserted the ends of cigar holders and the long fingernails were constructed from strips of painted film stock. He used fish skin to fashion an Oriental cast to his eyes and grey crepe hair was used for the mustache and goatee. The make-up procedures took from four to six hours to apply. See more »
[In a racially condescending fashion]
You Chinese eat the silliest food!
See more »
Proof that not all of Lon Chaney's characters were golden
By 1927, Lon Chaney had clearly established that he could play practically any role--ranging from Quasimodo to the Phantom of the Opera to sideshow freaks to maniacs. However, one type of role that Chaney did that just looks pretty shabby today is his Asian characters. In MR. WU, Chaney plays two characters--a very, very old Chinese man and his grandson. As the grandfather, Wu looks really weird--not all that Chinese. As the grandson, with his shaved head and painted eyebrows he looks a little more like Joan Crawford circa 1970 than a Chinese guy! Interesting performances, yes--but not at all believable to anyone but the rather unsophisticated audiences of 1927 (who were used to seeing White guys dressed as Asians).
As for the story, it's odd because from the point of view of the Western characters, they didn't seem racist but were very open towards Asians. In contrast, Wu was a bigoted old guy who, according to some ancient teachings, could NEVER allow a child of his to marry anyone who wasn't 100% Chinese.
In light of this, it certainly isn't surprising that the grandson (I guess that would be Wu III) freaked out when his daughter fell for an American man. This of course leads to a sad and rather crazy conclusion that certainly is interesting--though it also seemed rather silly and tough to believe.
So it it worth seeing? Well for silent film fans (particularly lovers of Chaney), of course. For others NOT familiar with silents or who mistakenly think they are bad, then they should try some other films first. This film is like a strong cigar--it can be appreciated by someone used to them but for novices it's best to just stay away for now.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?