7.2/10
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40 user 24 critic

Piccadilly (1929)

Passed | | Drama, Crime | 1 June 1929 (USA)
A young Chinese woman, working in the kitchen at a London dance club, is given the chance to become the club's main act which soon leads to a plot of betrayal, forbidden love and murder.

Writer:

Arnold Bennett (original screenplay)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gilda Gray ... Mabel Greenfield
Anna May Wong ... Shosho
Jameson Thomas ... Valentine Wilmot
Cyril Ritchard ... Victor Smiles (as Cyrill Ritchard)
King Hou Chang ... Jim (as King Ho Chang)
Hannah Jones ... Bessie
Gordon Begg Gordon Begg ... Coroner
Harry Terry Harry Terry ... Publican
Debroy Somers and His Band Debroy Somers and His Band ... Band at the Piccadilly Club
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Storyline

The star attraction of the Piccadilly Club is the dancing team of Mabel and Vic. Victor is infatuated with Mabel, but she rejects his advances, since she is in love with Valentine Wilmot, the club's owner. One night, as Mabel and Vic perform their act, there is a disruption caused by a customer who is unhappy about a dirty plate. When Wilmot goes back to the kitchen to investigate, he finds several employees in the scullery watching Shosho, one of the dishwashers, dancing on a table. That night, Wilmot fires both Shosho and Victor. But the club's sagging fortunes soon lead him to re-evaluate Shosho's talent. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Piccadilly See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Silent

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film was screened for free at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Saturday 12th September 2009 as part of the Thames Festival. It was accompanied by a live performance of a new score written by Ruth Chen and Suki Mok. See more »

Goofs

During the inquest, the handgun is repeatedly referred to as a revolver. It is obviously a small semiautomatic, and not a revolver. See more »

Quotes

Mabel Greenfield: Yes, you're frank now! But you never told me about her dancing in your private office in the middle of the night.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits appear on the sides of London buses. See more »

Connections

Featured in Arena: Screen Goddesses (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

When Love Comes Stealing
(1928) (uncredited)
Written by Erno Rapee, Lew Pollack and Walter Hirsch
The sheet music is shown onscreen; possibly used in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Film's shortcomings more than redeemed by Anna May Wong
27 July 2004 | by modern_maidenSee all my reviews

An enjoyable film with some great characters and an interesting story. The version I saw has an inappropriate and often irritating score that sounds about forty years too modern, and drastically takes away from the flapper-age energy and dance scenes. The beginning of the film is tedious, choosing to dwell a bit long on setting the scene, but once the main characters are introduced and the story begins to unfold, it captures and holds your attention.

Anna May Wong contributes the film's best performance. She has that rare, powerful aura that illuminates the screen, like Greta Garbo or Louise Brooks. When her character, Sho-Sho, is in a scene, you can only focus on her, and she carries you away with intensity conveyed by only the merest subtle expression.

The other actors were "okay" but nothing special. The characters of Victor and Mabel, presumably popular and adored dancers, failed to convince me that they had any charisma whatsoever. Sho-Sho's scenes with Valentine, the club owner who wants to make her a star (and his lover) are mesmerising, showing passion and titillating innuendo. But the really interesting relationship is that of Sho-Sho with "Jim", a Chinese fellow who seems to live with her -- is he a brother? a lover? it is unclear, but he is totally submissive to her and proud and jealous at the same time. She treats him like a dog, but they obviously have a close bond and need each other.

As a film in general, "Picadilly" is lacking on a few levels, but it is completely redeemed by Anna May Wong's presence. I can't give it a high rating overall, but I highly recommend it to Anna May Wong fans.


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