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The Son-Daughter (1932)

Passed  -  Drama  -  23 December 1932 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 83 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

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 »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lien Wha
...
Tom Lee
Lewis Stone ...
Dr. Dong Tong
...
Fen Sha
...
Fang Fou Hy
Louise Closser Hale ...
Toy Yah
...
Sin Kai
Edit

Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Canção do Oriente  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Anna May Wong was very eager to play Lian Wha, but was turned down - by her own account, because the producers considered her "too Chinese to play a Chinese". See more »

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User Reviews

 
A world both delicate and deadly
18 December 2002 | by (Easley, SC) – See all my reviews

In the Chinatown of 1911 in San Francisco, the specter of political upheaval casts a shadow over two lovers.

Helen Hayes and Ramon Navarro play Lien Wha and Tom Lee, whose ever-so-polite courtship advances haltingly under the watchful eyes of Lien's father, Dr. Tong (Lewis Stone, perfectly underplaying his role). In a world of wind chimes, flowers and birds singing, Lien Wha inhabits a world very different from the street below. Furtive shadows hide blade wielding hatchet men routinely "dispatching" self-described patriots disloyal to the repressive Chinese Emperor. It is to these patriots that Dr. Tong places his loyalty, and a $100,000 tribute for smugglers becomes crucial to save the repressed homelanders. Tong reveals to his daughter his unfulfilled wish to have had a son to send to fight for his people, and Lien pledges herself to be the son he lacks, she'll be his son-daughter.

Director Clarence Brown unfolds his drama in settings that are among MGM's best. Using complex lighting arrangements and crane shots, the director injects dread most effectively. The violence is quick and strong, definately pre-code. And if you're familiar with the portrayal of Chinese in America up to the sixties, you will forgive performances which play today as over the top. Indeed, during the final reel, you'll discover why Hayes was a great choice for the lead.

A great film for adults, and a must-see for students of great photography.


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