A large group of Chinese immigrants in San Francisco is clandestinely donating whatever money they earn to smuggle arms into China for the rebels in their fight against the centuries old ... See full summary »
A large group of Chinese immigrants in San Francisco is clandestinely donating whatever money they earn to smuggle arms into China for the rebels in their fight against the centuries old Manchurian imperial oppressors. The secrecy of their mission is to hide their identities from anyone supporting the imperial regime. One of the immigrants supporting the rebels is Dr. Dong Tong. His only offspring, the demure Lien Wha, who also supports the cause, is in love with poor university student, Tom Lee, the two who, after meeting formally, want to get married, which Dr. Tong supports. However, Dr. Tong learns that the rebel backers are short $100,000 for the latest shipment of arms, and are asking the four men within the group with eligible daughters to donate $25,000 apiece, that money to be raised by selling their daughters into marriage to a wealthy buyer. Dr. Tong is one of the four, Lien Wha the daughter to be sold. Simultaneously, Dr. Tong learns of Tom's true identity as the son of ... Written by
In order to finance a rebellion in the homeland, San Francisco's Chinatown virgin Helen Hayes (as Lian Wha) sells herself in marriage to the highest swarthy bidder. "Am I not all Confucius demands in a wife?" she asks. A smooth-talking auctioneer, Ms. Hayes manages to give herself up for $100,000. It's a supreme sacrifice, since Hayes has just fallen in love with fellow Asian pretender Ramon Novarro (as Tom Lee). Sadly, Hayes' nasty husband Warner Oland (as Fen Sha) retrieves the loot before it can help the Chinese people. Moreover, father Lewis Stone (as Dong Tong) and Mr. Novarro are placed in life-threatening danger.
It seems ludicrous today, but "The Son-Daughter" was quite serious. Novarro was considered a good bet for ethnic roles, and Hayes was seen as a Lillian Gish successor. He was basking in the box office returns for "Mata Hari" (with Greta Garbo) and she was celebrating her "Best Actress" Oscar bounce. This clunky melodrama probably hurt Hayes most, since she was billed first, and expected to carry the picture. Everyone else needed only to cash their paychecks and let the picture fade from memory.
**** The Son-Daughter (12/23/32) Clarence Brown ~ Helen Hayes, Ramon Novarro, Lewis Stone, Warner Oland
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