9 user 1 critic

The Forbidden City (1918)

A Chinese mandarin hopes to regain favor with the Emporer by betrothing her to him, but he doesn't know she's secretly married to the American consul and pregnant.


Sidney Franklin


Mary Murillo, George Scarborough (story)




Credited cast:
Norma Talmadge ... San San / Toy
Thomas Meighan ... John Worden
E. Alyn Warren ... Wong Li
Michael Rayle Michael Rayle ... Mandarin
L. Rogers Lytton L. Rogers Lytton ... Chinese Emperor
Reid Hamilton Reid Hamilton ... Lieutenant Philip Halbert
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Fang Charles Fang ... Yuan-Loo


The daughter of a Chinese mandarin is sentenced to death for her secret marriage to an American. Their child, raised in the mandarin's palace, grows up and escapes to seek her father, now a high-ranking official in the Philippines. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Chinese Mandarin offered Sn San to the Emperor, but when they found her half American baby girl the Emperor ordered San San to the Hall of Flashing Speers. The prettiest and most unique or all Oriental stories ever told on the screen---don't miss it. (Print Ad- Sentinel-Record, ((Hot Springs, Ark.)) 5 December 1918)


Drama | Romance

User Reviews

Touching movie about inter-racial love
23 October 2003 | by overseer-3See all my reviews

I was very moved by this film. Norma Talmadge plays the role of San-San, a mandarin's daughter, who risks all for love of Thomas Meighan's character, an American diplomat named Worden. She is very believable as an oriental girl who is longing for love. Norma also plays the love child of San-San and Worden, as a young adult, trying to escape from her brutal life in the emperor's palace.

This type of story has been done before, but perhaps never so tenderly and sweetly as in this old, old film. This is a haunting movie, with great performances from all the cast. It is not to be missed.

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None | English

Release Date:

6 October 1918 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Tale of the Forbidden City See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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