After his Japanese mother dies, a biracial young man travels to the United States to track down his American father.


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Cast overview:
Edna Kingston
Adm. John Milton
Helen Milton
Saki San
Sidney De Gray ...
James Barnes (as Sydney De Grey)
Harry von Meter ...
Adm. von Krug
Mayme Kelso ...
Mrs. Harland Smith


Learning his Japanese mother committed suicide after being abandoned by his American father, the young Yukio journeys to the United States to have his revenge. However, his plans are complicated when he inadvertently ends up working for a network of spies who want to get their hands on some important documents possessed by none other than Yukio's long-lost father. Written by cupcakes

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Release Date:

8 September 1918 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fils d'Amiral  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Nederlands Filmmuseum has preserved a print of this film. See more »

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User Reviews

Hayakawa is the one bright spot in this strange genre mash-up
24 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

His Birthright (1918) is a weird early example of genre mash-up, a common thing nowadays, but not so much back in the 1910s. The picture is at once a light comedy and a sort of detective film with doses of drama in the mix.

Sessue Hayakawa is the one attracting factor for this film. An incredibly underrated performer whose restrained acting style received fantastic notices in Cecil B. DeMille's 1915 potboiler The Cheat, he became a sensation among American women with his brooding handsomeness and sex appeal. Unfortunately, many of the projects he was involved in during this period were unworthy of him. He eventually founded his own production company, where he hoped to make the kinds of stories where an Asian lead could be the hero.

Though often cast in dramas both during and after the silent era, HB showcases Hayakawa's comedic skills to marvelous effect. Most of the funny business comes from his character being a stranger in a strange land, or in this case, a Japanese guy in the US. Luckily, none of these jokes are made in a demeaning vein and do not resort to offensive racial stereotypes.

The rest of the cast is serviceable, though none entertain as much as the lead. Marin Sais makes for a mildly amusing vamp character, who seeks to use the naive Hayakawa character's attraction to her for the ends of her employer.

Not a significant film, but it's entertaining and fast-paced. A shame it does not exist in a complete form.

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