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'Tiger' Haynes is a respected trapper of jungle beasts for zoos and circuses and a doting father to his beautiful young daughter Toyo. When he finds out that she's fallen in love with Bobby Bailey, the son of a wealthy circus owner he frequently deals with, Haynes is initially suspicious of the young man's motives. However, Bailey's sincerity soon wins him over, and they take the river boat to Saigon together to see the young man's father. While on board Bobby meets the femme fatale cougar, Mme. de Sylva, who immediately desires the young man and easily seduces him. In reality, she is Toyo's mother and a notoriously predatory seductress. Tiger adamantly insinuates himself between de Sylva and her latest conquest and seemingly breaks up the romance and returns home to oversee Toyo and Bobby's wedding, but Toyo's mother unexpectedly arrives with the objective of vamping Bobby. In order to avoid having Toyo's heart broken by her mother, Tiger resorts to the 'law of the jungle.' Written by
This is a nice little silent film - years ago TCM UK showed a 1930's re-issue print with ridiculous sound effects over an energetic orchestra at 63 minutes long that I taped. Lon Chaney only had 2 more films to make before his death the following year, while Lupe Velez had more than 30 to go before her strange death in 1944, here the pair played a rather close father and daughter (Tiger and Toyo) in steamy pre-chopper Vietnam.
The storyline's been completely given away in a previous post, all I would add is that this film is most definitely worth watching if only to gawp at Estelle Taylor playing Madame De Sylva, Toyo's prodigal mother. She was light-years more alluring than Velez in this mainly owing to her incredible eye make-up and hair style, but the daughter didn't seem to mind being overshadowed at all. And her boyfriend Booby was torn - what was there to choose?! Throughout the ensuing emotional roller-coaster Chaney snarls and generally lives up to his name, but unfortunately is guilty of a heavily contrived heinous crime against his immoral ex-wife and by the end has to pay the censor's price - literally in the last second.
All in all not fantastic, but with a realistic atmosphere generated by some intelligent photography and the usual high standard of scenic detail from Cedric Gibbons it's always a pleasant hour-filler for me.
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