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
During production, star Anna May Wong reportedly said, "This picture will never reach the screen." See more »
How would you like to go to America, 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.
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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 »
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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