Old San Francisco (1927)

Passed   |    |  Drama, History, Romance


Old San Francisco (1927) Poster

In San Francisco, a villainous land owner with underworld connections seeks to steal the property of an old Spanish family.


6.4/10
315

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

Alan Crosland

Writers:

Darryl F. Zanuck (by), Anthony Coldeway (screen play), Jack Jarmuth (titles by)

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User Reviews


8 April 2003 | michael.e.barrett
Religion conquers all
The climax of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake might be model work made for the film, but it also looks like it might be stock footage (perhaps from Lon Chaney's movie THE SHOCK or something else). In any case, this film and THE SHOCK adopt the "cosmic retribution" angle that the dust-up was really a Gomorrah-like act of divine intervention against the Barbary excesses of Chinatown and such. Anna May Wong is thanklessly wasted as the sinfully exquisite assistant of future Charlie Chan Warner Oland, a ruthless land shark who doesn't let anyone know he's really Chinese. He keeps his jeering dwarf brother in a cage and terrorizes the heiress of an old Spanish family, whose righteous Christian iconography pierces his "mongol heart." He codifies the social and sexual threat of "passing" and miscegenation, which is depicted as repulsive to both races. But this is all articulated in religious terms. The anglos refer to his "heathen gods," while the Chinese get irate that he "betrays his ancestors." For a festival of Asian-American images in silent films, compare this with the more ambiguous sexual morality of Cecil B. DeMille's THE CHEAT with Sessue Hayakawa, the tragedy of Wong's role in THE TOLL OF THE SEA, the later films made by Hayakawa, or even Griffith's BROKEN BLOSSOMS.

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Storyline

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Genres

Drama | History | Romance

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