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Java Head & Tiger Bay - Preview

Java Head & Tiger Bay

Preview by Jack Foley

ANNA May Wong (1905 – 1961) was the first Asian American movie star to become an international star.

Her career spanned over four decades. She started in Technicolor’s first two-strip color movie, The Toll of the Sea (1922) and was chosen by Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. to be in The Thief of Bagdad (1924), and co-starred with Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express (1932).

Both Hollywood and Europe proclaimed her exoticism and she became known for her fluid grace and languid sexuality on screen.

Now, coming to DVD in a restored form, two of her classic films, Java Head and Tiger Bay, are being released by Optimum Home Entertainment on Monday, June 20.

Java Head (1934)

A heavy-breathing melodrama of the White Cargo school, Java Head was adapted from the novel by Joseph Hergesheimer.

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 marry her due to a long-running feud between their fathers. After a lengthy voyage, he returns with a very exotic, noble Chinese wife (Anna May Wong), which scandalizes the conservative town.

His other son, a “landlubber”, seeks to convert to steamships, to the disgust of his father. Even worse, he is secretly dealing in contraband.

Tiger Bay (1934)

A young Englishman abroad, Michael, visits the local low-life spot of Tiger Bay to test his assertion that the spirit of human romance survives even in the most unpromising of circumstances.

He intervenes when a local criminal protection racketeer targets a Chinese nightclub, and falls in love with the owner’s young English foster-sister.

But Olaf’s gang have only just started their campaign against Lui Chang (Anna May Wong), the cultured, elegant woman who owns the premises… and she is determined not to be intimidated or driven out of business under any circumstances…

Win Java Head & Tiger Bay on DVD

To celebrate the release of Java Head and Tiger Bay – starring screen legend Anna May Wong – on DVD on June 20 IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 of 3 copies. Simply answer the following question…

Q. Who adapted Java Head for the screen?

Simply send the answer to Java Head competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email