6.6/10
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24 user 11 critic

The Toll of the Sea (1922)

While visiting China, an American man falls in love with a young Chinese woman, but he then has second thoughts about the relationship.

Writer:

Frances Marion (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anna May Wong ... Lotus Flower
Kenneth Harlan ... Allen Carver
Beatrice Bentley ... Barbara Carver
Priscilla Moran ... Little Allen (as Baby Moran)
Etta Lee Etta Lee ... Gossip
Ming Young Ming Young ... Gossip
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Storyline

When young Lotus Flower sees an unconscious man floating in the water near the seashore, she quickly gets help for him. The man is Allen Carver, an American visiting China. Soon the two have fallen in love, and Carver promises to take her with him when he returns home. But Carver's friends discourage him from doing this, and he returns to the USA alone. By the time the two of them meet again, much has changed, and their reunion proves very trying for them both. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

china | chinese | asian | bigamy | rescue | See All (15) »

Taglines:

The colors of nature have been PHOTOGRAPHED for the first time in making THE TOLL OF THE SEA A great romantic drama of the Orient. (Print Ad- The Telegraph-Herald, ((Dubuque, Iowa)) 22 April 1923)


Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

22 January 1923 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A tenger vámja See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Technicolor See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1985 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Color (2-strip Technicolor) (Process Number Two)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During production, star Anna May Wong reportedly said, "This picture will never reach the screen." See more »

Quotes

Allen Carver: How would you like to go to America, Lotus Flower?
Lotus Flower: You take me to those United States? Christian lady at Mission tell me America fine place. Women free - can spend all husband's money.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1985, this film was restored using original negative materials, by Richard Dayton and Pete Comandini of the YCM Laboratories, and Robert Gitt of the UCLA Film and Television Archives, using funds from the AFI/NEA Film Preservation Program. Because the last 3-minute sequence of the Pacific Ocean was missing, it was re-shot using Frances Marion's titles from her scenario and an authentic 2-strip Technicolor camera. The film ran 53 minutes plus about one minute of explanatory information and restoration credits. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Color Silent slow but significant.
8 June 2008 | by st-shotSee all my reviews

It's slow going in this Puccini Opera rip off that nevertheless is worth a look for it's early example of the Technicolor process. The film plods along at a mostly gloomy pace as the camera looks for any reason to display color. From costumes to pheasants, gardens to elaborate Chinese interiors we are offered a full range of lush colorful imagery.

Without the music Madame Butterfly can be trying but Anna May Wong as Lotus Flower gives a delicately touching performance being lurched back and forth between joy and tragedy. Her silent emoting in colorful costume makes for a beautiful visual poem. Kenneth Harlan as the bigamist has the Arrow man look and his American wife played by Beatrice Bentley evokes Gibson Girl remaining mostly in profile as if posing for the period calender.

Lethargic pace and glum plot aside, Toll of the Sea's colorful historical significance and Ms. Wong's tender performance deserves a look.


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