The Golden Age of Hollywood

Just wanted to mention that today is the 50th anniversary of Anna May Wong's passing.   She'll always be remembered as the pioneering Asian-American screen star.  Unfortunately, her descendants still seem to be floundering in the system.  Certainly none has matched her career for longevity, popularity or variety.

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Comment by Catherine on February 8, 2011 at 7:20pm
Thanks for highlighting Anna - she was so exotic and beautiful.  And she could command your attention.  Love her in Shanghai Express, I am a rabid Dietrich fan and I found myself eager for the scenes with Anna.  It's sad she could not be as free to express her art as a major star.  Frankly, with all the strong, negative stereotyping of the Chinese during the early part of the 20th century, it is to her credit that the studios featured her in major films.
Comment by MothGirl Wings on February 4, 2011 at 3:45am
I wish she had more leads - she most certainly deserved them - it always irks me to see her play supporting roles, although of course I enjoy her in all her films.  I recently read a biography on her, and found it rather depressing, as it sounded as though she did not have that happy of a life, especially in her later years.  I recently saw "Shanghai Express" on the big screen, and she's riveting in that, even though her part is not as large as Marlene Dietrich's, still you can see what a terrific actress she was - she had a very strong screen presence and true star charisma and talent.
Comment by diane on February 4, 2011 at 1:19am

Yes it was your article Philip. I just looked it up. Looking at her

filmography I quite liked her in "A Study in Scarlet" and also in

"Impact".  Obviously the articles you wrote made quite an

impression on me!!!

Comment by Dan Day, Jr. on February 3, 2011 at 9:06pm
I thought PICCADILLY was is without doubt Anna May Wong's best film role.
Comment by Philip Leibfried on February 3, 2011 at 8:03pm
I'm sure you'll enjoy "Piccadilly", Diane,  It's probably Anna's finest silent film, tho I haven't seen her German silents.  BTW, that's probably my article on Anna you refer to; was it in FIR for March 1987?
Comment by diane on February 3, 2011 at 7:30pm

I just recently purchased "Piccadilly". I haven't seen it yet (just the opening

credits) while I am not too sure about the music, the credits (they appear

on the sides of double decker buses) seem very innovative and I shall

be watching it soon. Did you like it Dan?

Comment by Dan Day, Jr. on February 3, 2011 at 6:35pm
I have PICCADILLY and MR. WU on DVD. In MR. WU Anna May should have played Renee Adoree's role.
Comment by diane on February 3, 2011 at 5:43pm

I think she was wonderful. Again I can remember reading another excellent

article in Films In Review and she seemed to have a sad, later life.

Last year the ABC played a documentary about "Orientals in

Hollywood" and I was so angry, she hardly rated a mention. I feel,

as you do Philip, that not only was she a pioneer  but she had a

very varied career. It was annoying I felt, to have just a few

short comments on her career and really I believe that she

paved the way.


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