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Prizefighter Mason loses his opening fight so wife Rose leaves him for Hollywood. Without her around Mason trains and starts winning. Rose comes back and wants Mason to dump his manager Regan and replace him with her secret lover Lewis.
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'Tiger' Haynes is a respected trapper of jungle beasts for zoos and circuses and a doting father to his beautiful young daughter Toyo. When he finds out that she's fallen in love with Bobby Bailey, the son of a wealthy circus owner he frequently deals with, Haynes is initially suspicious of the young man's motives. However, Bailey's sincerity soon wins him over, and they take the river boat to Saigon together to see the young man's father. While on board Bobby meets the femme fatale cougar, Mme. de Sylva, who immediately desires the young man and easily seduces him. In reality, she is Toyo's mother and a notoriously predatory seductress. Tiger adamantly insinuates himself between de Sylva and her latest conquest and seemingly breaks up the romance and returns home to oversee Toyo and Bobby's wedding, but Toyo's mother unexpectedly arrives with the objective of vamping Bobby. In order to avoid having Toyo's heart broken by her mother, Tiger resorts to the 'law of the jungle.' Written by
In Southeast Asia, scar-faced animal hunter Lon Chaney (as Tiger Haynes) is very protective of "pretty as the poppies in the morning sun" daughter Lupe Velez (as Toyo), who is dating cute Lloyd Hughes (as Bobby Bailey). Mr. Chaney, who likes to play bullfighting games with Ms. Velez, grows to accept Mr. Hughes after he helps save Velez from a loose tiger. When all seems idyllic, seductive Estelle Taylor (as Madame de Sylva) arrives to heighten interest in sex and revenge among the men.
Directed by Tod Browning and top-billing Chaney, then the #2 "Box Office Star" according to the annual "Quigley Publications" exhibitors' poll, "Where East Is East" is nothing special; it features the expected Browning/Chaney formulaic moments, but they are mild when compared to some of the collaborators' other works. Despite some silly posturing and eye make-up, Ms. Taylor is most entertaining. She and Mr. Hughes are fun - and, watch out for Taylor's jealous lesbian attendant.
****** Where East Is East (5/4/29) Tod Browning ~ Lon Chaney, Lupe Velez, Estelle Taylor, Lloyd Hughes
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