Piccadilly (1929)

Piccadilly is a late British silent.  It’s a shame silents ended so soon.  Piccadilly is a good example of how it could have matured.  The exaggerated silent gestures were toned down giving it a rather modern feel.  The accompanying music on the DVD was horrible so I watched the film in silence.

Anna May Wong is utterly gorgeous with great cinematic charisma. Her wardrobe is late 20s stylish.  Her dishwasher transformed to dancer sensation combines sweetness and temptress.  This is my first Wong viewing at her career and physical peak.  I watched her in a small but important role in Impact but by then her sex appeal had faded.

The other actors did a good job too especially King Hou Chang as Wong’s long-suffering admirer and Gilda Gray as an aging dancer jealous of Wong’s newfound success.  Gray finds Wong as a threat in her romance with the club owner played by Jameson Thomas.   Gray and Wong never mention race as an issue but instead age differences.  Charles Laughton has a small role as a gluttonous diner.

This is the only youtube video I could find and I’m glad because it’s my favorite scene. I love the photography and feel for party life in the 20s.

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