Big silent buses, spilling light out onto an incongruously familiar West End, display the film's credits and introduce us to Dupont's glitteringly sinister London. Descending from the palatial dance-floor of a Piccadilly nightclub, we pass through the kitchen and the scullery to a world of roughhouse pubs and seamy Chinese emporia. Anna May Wong has a wiry strength which belies expectations of lotus-flower passivity. She distracts the dishwashers with her table-top dancing, and snares her all-powerful boss (Thomas) with her serpentine sensuality. The melodramatic machinations of the plot may be weak, but Dupont's assured direction, Alfred J√ľnge's art direction, and Werner Brandes' lighting create an atmosphere so hauntingly evocative as to be satisfying in itself.

Release details

Duration: 106 mins

Cast and crew

Director: EA Dupont
Screenwriter: Arnold Bennett
Cast: Anna May Wong
Jameson Thomas
Gilda Gray
Cyril Ritchard
King Ho Chang
Charles Laughton
Ellen Pollock
Ray Milland
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