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The Typhoon (1914)

Japanese diplomat Tokoramo ( Sessue Hayakawa ), on a mission to Paris, begins a love affair with chorus girl, Helene ( Gladys Brockwell ), who subsequently rejects her American fiance, ... See full summary »


Reginald Barker


Melchior Lengyel (play) (as Menyhért Lengyel)




Credited cast:
Sessue Hayakawa ... Tokorama
Gladys Brockwell ... Helene
Frank Borzage ... Renard Bernisky
Henry Kotani Henry Kotani ... Hironari
Leona Hutton ... Theresa
Kisaburô Kurihara ... Baron Joshikawa (as Thomas Kurihara)
Tsuru Aoki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles K. French
Herschel Mayall


Japanese diplomat Tokoramo ( Sessue Hayakawa ), on a mission to Paris, begins a love affair with chorus girl, Helene ( Gladys Brockwell ), who subsequently rejects her American fiance, Richard Bernisky. When the Japanese discover the affair, they try to force Tokoramo to end it, but Helene refuses to stop visiting him. One night, during one of her visits, Bernisky comes to Tokoramo's apartment and, while Helene hides, rebukes her to her lover. After Bernisky leaves, Tokoramo orders Helene out, but when he realizes his love for her, he calls her back. Suddenly, she rejects and insults him to the point that he strangles her. Tokoramo wants to confess his crime, but he must complete his work, and so his countrymen sacrifice a boy, Hironari, who pleads guilty to the murder and eventually is executed. In the end, Tokoramo also dies and his colleagues burn his valuable papers in order to protect Japan. Written by Pamela Short

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | murder | menace | japan | japanese | See All (11) »




Did You Know?


The Typhoon was released on October 10, 1914, by Paramount Pictures. See more »


Version of Taifun (1911) See more »

User Reviews

A Whirlwind of Melodrama
29 December 2006 | by dizozzaSee all my reviews

This film is incongruously dramatic in its portrayal of diplomatic indiscretions, between officials from the US and Japan, over those Parisian showgirls... This silent film's date is 1914! The print I saw, at the Museum of Modern Art, was rather minimalist in title cards. After a lengthy expressive discussion followed a quick summary on the title card. The storytelling is mostly visual. Imagine the sound of the actor's voices, and then imagine what they are saying.

Where is the Typhoon in Paris? It may be a reference to the Japanese source for the word, which is "taifu." The story degenerates into a tremendous waste of manpower, so to speak. Though it looked great, it could have been kinder to its cultural references.

By the way, in general, the surviving print of this movie contained a breathtaking amount of visual information, more than what we see in today's films. There was no cropping, no soundtrack; in silent films the camera filled the entire 35mm film frame with a photo-image.

Update: September 15th. The Typhoon is one of the films featuring a great romantic leading actor, Sessue Hayakawa. In the films I saw at the Museum of Modern Art last night, Mr. Hayakawa called to mind Elvis Presley. (The Museum showed French titled fragments from "The Hidden Pearls," an Eastman House restoration of "The Dragon Painter," and finally, "The Tong Man," produced by his own production company Haworth Pictures. You may already be familiar with this actor who was the other protagonist in "Bridge on the River Kwai.")

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None | English

Release Date:

10 October 1914 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'honneur japonais See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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