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The Red Kimona (1925)

A small town girl finds escape from her cruel home life in the arms of a handsome stranger. Soon she finds herself working as a prostitute in New Orleans, desperately clinging to the belief that he really loves her.


Walter Lang, Dorothy Davenport (uncredited)


Adela Rogers St. Johns (by), Dorothy Arzner (adaptation) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Priscilla Bonner ... Gabrielle
Nellie Bly Baker Nellie Bly Baker ... Clara
Carl Miller ... Howard Blaine
Mary Carr ... The Matron
Virginia Pearson ... Mrs. Fontaine
Tyrone Power Sr. ... Gabrielle's Father (as Tyrone Power)
Sheldon Lewis ... District Attorney
Theodore von Eltz ... Freddy - the Chauffeur (as Theodore Von Eltz)
Emily Fitzroy ... The Housekeeper
George Siegmann ... Mr. Mack (as George Seigman)
Dot Farley ... The Inquisitive One


In THE RED KIMONA, Priscilla Bonner plays Darley, a small town girl who finds escape from her cruel home life in the arms of a handsome stranger. Soon she finds herself working as a prostitute in New Orleans, desperately clinging to the belief that he really loves her. When she discovers him buying an engagement ring for another woman, she shoots him. Her murder trial becomes a cause celebre and Gabrielle finds herself befriended by a rich society woman who professes deep concern for the unfortunate girl. Directed by Dorothy Reid. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Is It An Actual Menace To American Girls? (original poster) See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 November 1925 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Kimona See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The story was based on a true story and Gabrielle Darley was a real person, but producer Dorothy Davenport did not secure her permission to film the events in her life. When Darley, who had since moved on to marry and become an upstanding member of her community, found out that a film of her life had been made without her consent, she sued Davenport and financially ruined her. Matters of invasion of privacy by the media were not clear in 1925, and it's unlikely that Ms. Darley would have been able to win the case nowadays, since most details of the trial were a matter of public record. See more »


Set in 1917, the fashions and cars are contemporary with 1925, when the film was made. See more »


The Inquisitive One: [to Gabrielle] I've been dying to talk to you alone - I just knew we would be drawn to each other. You see I understand so thoroughly - for I, too, have been pursued all my life! My husband can't give me any information about these things - he's like a babe in the woods - - he's a traveling man. Now tell me - is it true that all men - -? - - and do you poor dears have to - -?
[Embarrassed, Gabrielle walks away]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Kino International copyrighted a video version in 2000 using the preservation print of the American Film Institute Collection at the Library of Congress. It was restored by Bret Wood, produced by Jessica Rosner, has a piano music score performed and arranged by Robert Israel, and runs 77 minutes. Additional color effects were added by Kevin Christopher at AGI Studios. See more »

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User Reviews

Prostitution, Crime And Social Discrimination
9 February 2007 | by FerdinandVonGalitzienSee all my reviews

"The Red Kimona", a film directed by Herr Walter Lang, is a curious film production who deals with subjects (prostitution, crime and social discrimination) that were not very commonly in 1926 when this film production was made.

The film it is based in a true story from 1917, that depicts the miserable life of Dame Grabielle (Priscilla Bonner), a town girl, young and innocent, who is fooled by her lover into prostitution in New Orleans. Gabrielle will spend many sorrowful years until one day when, knowing that her lover is going to marry another, shoots him. She will be absolved by her crime, but it won't be easy to start a new life. Society will place many restrictions on her (she would like to wipe out the past by another kind of service for men, nursing this time…). She will try to find a job but it is very difficult if you have not references (not a problem for the German aristocracy, the references if not the idea of actually working… ). The manager always knows that you have been in jail. She is adopted by a wealthy society matron who is only interested in Gabrielle for her publicity… but fortunately and finally loves will conquer all.

The story is about broken innocence and shattered dreams skilfully directed by Herr Lang. Different parts and aspects can be outlined in this movie: the first part of the film depicts in flashback the origins of Grabrielle's fall (in love and prostitution). From then on, the film denounces the social hypocrisy towards Gabrielle, the great difficulties that she will find in order to live a normal life which almost will end up with her again in New Orleans…not a terrible fact at all that city itself but the bordello. Dame Priscilla Bonner is perfect in her restrained performance, painting an excellent portrait of abandoned but fighting woman.

The film includes a thrilling finale with misunderstandings and crossed fates that give the story motion and emotion. Probably the only thing lacking in this excellent oeuvre are Biblical references (Gabrielle as a modern Magdalen) It is intended to serve as a warning, maybe a comprehensible fact this when we know that the film was produced by Dame Mrs. Wallace Reid… And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count has an appointment with a Teutonic Dame, not dame… Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/

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