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Chu Chin Chow
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Yes, and it stars Anna May Wong!
VCI Entertainment has released an incredible 3 DVD collectors set containing restorations of the original (102 minute) version of the British film CHU CHIN CHOW (1934), along with the shorter 1953 American release of the same film (re-titled ALI BABA NIGHTS and targeting a "kiddie matinee" audience, it cuts out most of the spice--and the music). The set also features generous photo galleries, artist bios, an Arabian Nights-themed Popeye cartoon, loads of other extras and another British feature film of the 1930s, Karl Grune's ABDUL THE DAMNED, starring Fritz Kortner who plays the bandit chief, Abu Hassan, in CHU CHIN CHOW.
Ace film restorer, Jay Allan Fenton, supervised the project and it is a welcome addition to the expanding digital library of historically and artistically important films available to anyone with access to a DVD player. (Sound and image on these films can be less than pristine, but still almost miraculous considering their age and rarity.)
It is also a boon to aficionados of the sublime Anna May Wong.
Novelist Evelyn Waugh once wrote that it seemed absurd "that plays of oriental setting should have to be manufactured" for Wong, but CHU CHIN CHOW was not hatched as a starring vehicle for the Chinese American actress. Combining elements of musical comedy and pantomime, CHU CHIN CHOW was a venerable British show biz institution by the time it reached the screen in 1934. With a story by Oscar Asche and music by Frederic Norton, the stage version was first produced at His Majesty's Theatre on August 3, 1916 and ran for five years and a (then record) total of 2238 performances. There was a silent version of the musical shot in 1925 (go figure!Read more ›
VCI had done an outstanding presentation of all this material; even the menu headings move! The eye-catching cover illustration is from a British film magazine cover and an informative booklet gives the viewer much background material. Kudos to VCI for a fine job!
2. "Here Be Oysters"
4. Young Lovers
5. Mistress Chambers
6. Send a Message
7. "Where are the Robbers of the Wood"
8. "I Shiver I Shake with Fear"
10.Ali Baba Owes
11.Here is Chu Chin Chow?
15.Two Little Words
18.Loot for Your Lives
19.Rewards of Honest Labor
20.The Wheel Awaits You
23.Rough with the Smooth
24."The Cobbler's Song"
25.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The 3-disc set was OK, but there was supposed to be a booklet included in the case - and it was not there. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Billiam C.
Has to be seen to be believed, heard too. Truly one for the record books.Published 16 months ago by John H. Turner
Oscar Ashe and Frederic Norton's musical retelling of "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves," "Chu Chin Chow," made into a 1934 British film by Walter Forde, doesn't withstand the test of... Read morePublished on February 22, 2007 by Robert Payne
I saw nothing in this Film that should of merited any sort Banning. In fact, I think for Kids, It might be a bit on the "slow side" of things for thier enjoyment, but as a adult, I... Read morePublished on August 29, 2006 by D. Fancher
I contributed in a small way to this set so I may be biased but I found the transfer excellent and I particularly enjoyed the extras. I thought Mr. Read morePublished on July 29, 2005 by Edmund R. Manwell
For those of you out there who adore Anna May Wong (and there seem to be quite a few), or have an interest in early 20th century British musicals (!? Read morePublished on July 28, 2005 by David Cady
I wonder if the previous reviewer saw the same film I did. This VCI Entertainment release of Chu Chin Chow is anything but "grainy" and "flickering. Read morePublished on July 23, 2005 by Denise Noe
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