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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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Directors: Alice Guy, Alice Guy
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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


SLAVES OF SATAN - Can They Ever Return From the Depths? (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:



Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film is notable for being one of the few independent productions produced and written by women. See more »


Then the Woman telling the story is looking at Gabrielle's case file in the opening of the film, the set behind her is clearly a forced-perspective painted backdrop. See more »


Title Card: Three words - I Love You - sometimes as beautiful and sacred as a prayer - sometimes a cowardly lie.
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 »


Edited into Women Who Made the Movies (1992) 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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