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Top Customer Reviews
The use of lighting especially in the scenes with Anna May Wong gives added depth to the proceedings. And while this is definitely her movie there are other fine performances as well. Cyril Ritchard as Gilda Gray's partner in the opening scenes (I thought I was watching Fred Astaire), Charles Laughton (in his first film role) as a dissatisfied club customer, and especially King Ho Chang as Wong's boyfriend Jim who ultimately holds the key to the film's resolution. PICCADILLY plays very much like an exotic version of PANDORA'S BOX (made a year earlier and directed by another German, G.W. Pabst) with Wong as a Chinese Louise Brooks. The story is basically a backstage melodrama done many times before and since but it's the style and the performances that really put it over.
I do have one problem with this DVD and that is the score by Neil Brand. Written for 7 piece jazz band, there is an overall sameness to it throughout the course of the film. Scenes such as Wong's Chinese dance or most of the scenes in Limehouse could have used a different and more dramatic scoring in my opinion. The composer is on the special features segment of the DVD explaining what he did and why which is helpful in understanding his choices.Read more ›
As an coauthor of one of the books on Anna May Wong I awaited this like many other keepers of the flame. With three books on Anna May now out, I still was not satisfied. I couldn't figure out what it was that was lacking. When I started looking into Anna May Wong's career some thirty years ago, you couldn't find a picture of her at most libraries. Then the cult phase started. People started writing more and asking around. Occasionally an article would be written in a nostalgic magazine. Eventually her films were selling in the private markets.
Anna May Wong's film career is not lost anymore. Milestone did her proud in so many ways. There is footage of the 2004 Asian Film Festival's panel (with Nancy Kwan) on her, though the sound quality on that is rough. There is a vintage introductory sound film made as a prologue to the movie, which is quite interesting. Then there are the photos. As I watched them run by I thought of the searches at the libraries so many years ago, wondering what I would have thought back then had I run into a gold mine such as this. I was also reminded of going through a stack of original photos from another one of her films, wishing I had the thousands required to buy them all. At forty dollars apiece(fifteen years ago)I spent a week's pay, knowing that once I left Hollywood to go back home, I would probably not see the rest of those photos again. Indeed, I have not.
However... this DVD is that gold mine for those who have wished to see Anna May in all her glory.
Maybe the people keeping some of her films locked up will see the beauty presented here and allow the public to enjoy her other works. Milestone did this as a labor of love. Anna May is not an extra in a Fairbanks movie anymore. Milestone gave us Anna May Wong, the star.
Chei Mi Lane
A nightclub owner, Mr. Wilmot, sees his fortunes decline after, out of jealousy, he fires the male dancing partner of Mabel. Mabel isn't popular enough on her own to sustain the club, and so he offers a Chinese dishwasher named Shosho (played by Wong) a shot at performing.
Shosho's Oriental dance is a big hit with the customers, and she is also a big hit with Mr. Wilmot, replacing Mabel as his love interest. Wilmot's relationship with Shushu stokes jealousy in both Mabel and Shushu's Chinese ex-boyfriend.
Anna May Wong makes the film with her formidable stage presence and radiant beauty. She is very, very sexy in this film. When she is on the screen, you can't take your eyes off of her!
It is very interesting to see how sex was censored in those days. In one scene, where Shushu invites Wilmot up to her room, she very seductively streches out on her couch. Her sexy tease goes on until the two seem to explode in passion. But just as their faces are about to meet in a violent kiss, the scene comes to an abrupt end and we are shown Wilmot leaving her apartment in the morning.
[Unfortunately, the makers of this DVD have a drawing of a topless Anna May Wong on the DVD case. This is false advertising as she does not appear topless. (There is no nudity in the film.)]
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Formerly hard to obtain treasure for our region! Buy it quickly!Published 13 months ago by Bob Wolter
Better than "Lady from Chungking", or "Bombs over Burma". Anna May does more than just stand around and recite a few lines. In this film, she dances! Read morePublished on February 16, 2014 by Kyzyl
It seems nearly everyone complains about the soundtrack. As a soundtrack collector, I didn`t find it nearly as offensive as today`s loud ROCK soundtracks very few of which I... Read morePublished on January 30, 2014 by Jay Holder
It’s a shame that, primarily due to her race, Anna May Wong never really achieved any lasting, worldwide fame. Read morePublished on January 9, 2014 by Paul McGrath
As a fan early films, I have to commend the restoration of this great movie. My only concern was about the music score. What film were they watching?? The score is an abomination. Read morePublished on July 23, 2013 by kendo
I bought this movie and was barely able to watch it once, due to the monotinous, tedious and headache inducing musical score. Read morePublished on May 19, 2013 by Mark E. Herriott
I love Anna May Wong movies. I wish the selection was more extensive. Piccadilly not only features Miss Wong, but has an interesting, very dramatic storyline. Read morePublished on March 10, 2013 by T. Peyton