Java Head (1934)

  |  Drama, Romance

Java Head (1934) Poster

The port city of Bristol, England, in the 1800s is home to Java Head, a sailing ship line company. The owner has two sons. One, a handsome seafarer, is in love with a local girl, but cannot... See full summary »



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4 February 2012 | Matti-Man
| Always wonderful, Anna May Wong excels
This is a fairly ordinary tale of a romantic triangle, elevated to an A picture by the presence of Anna May Wong, a gifted and tragic American-Chinese actress of the 1930s.

The plot involves rivalry between seafaring trader families and internal squabbles between brothers, one who wants to "modernise" the firm with steamships and opium smuggling, and another who is decent, in love with a local girl yet marries a Manchu princess ... yup, Anna May.

I kind of get the impression that the script for this film was re-jigged somewhat when the producers knew they had Ms Wong. Consequently, she seems to have wandered in from another film. The brief flash of pre-code nudity seems strangely out of place, but it's interesting how much more liberal the movies of the early 1930s can be.

In this picture, AMW's regal bearing and striking looks dominate the screen whenever she's on. Though it's not her best picture by a country mile (I reserve that for DANGEROUS TO KNOW), any Ms Wong is well worth a look.

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