|The Toll of the Sea|
|Directed by||Chester M. Franklin|
|Produced by||Herbert T. Kalmus|
|Written by||Frances Marion|
|Starring|| Anna May Wong |
|Edited by||Hal C. Kern|
|Distributed by||Metro Pictures Corporation|
|Language||Silent English intertitles|
The Toll of the Sea is a 1922 American silent drama film directed by Chester M. Franklin, produced by the Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation, released by Metro Pictures, and featuring Anna May Wong in her first leading role. The film was written by Frances Marion and directed by Chester M. Franklin (brother of director Sidney Franklin), with the lead roles played by Wong and Kenneth Harlan. The plot was a variation of the Madama Butterfly story, set in China instead of Japan.
The film was the second Technicolor feature (after 1917's The Gulf Between ), the first color feature made in Hollywood,[ citation needed ] and the first Technicolor color feature anywhere that did not require a special projector to be used for screenings.
The film premiered on November 26, 1922 at the Rialto Theatre in New York City, and went into general release on January 22, 1923.
When young Chinese woman Lotus Flower sees an unconscious man floating in the water at the seashore, she quickly gets help for him. The man is Allen Carver, an American. Soon the two have fallen in love, and they get married "Chinese fashion". Carver promises to take her with him when he returns home. Lotus Flower's friends warn her that he will leave without her, and one states she has been forgotten by four American husbands, but she does not believe them. However, Carver's friends discourage him from fulfilling his promise, and he returns to the United States alone.
Lotus Flower has a young son, whom she names Allen after his father. When the older Allen finally returns to China, Lotus Flower is at first overjoyed. She dresses in her elaborate Chinese bridal gown to greet him. However, he is accompanied by his American wife, Elsie. Allen has told Elsie about Lotus Flower, and it is Elsie who persuaded her husband to tell Lotus Flower the real situation. When the boy is brought to see his father, Lotus Flower pretends he is the child of her American neighbors. Later, though, she confides the truth to Elsie and asks her to take the boy to America. She tells the child that Elsie is his real mother. After Elsie takes the boy away with her, Lotus Flower says, "Oh, Sea, now that life has been emptied I come to pay my great debt to you." The sun is then shown setting over the water, and it is implied that Lotus Flower drowns herself.
Because the Technicolor camera divided the lens image into two beams to expose two film frames simultaneously through color filters, and at twice the normal frames per second, much higher lighting levels were required. All scenes of The Toll of the Sea were shot under "natural light" and outdoors, with the one "interior" scene shot in sunlight under a muslin sheet.
Once believed to have been lost, the film was restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, under the supervision of Robert Gitt and Peter Comandini, from the 35mm nitrate film original camera negative in 1985.As the final two reels were missing, Gitt and Comandini used "an original two-color Technicolor camera" to shoot a sunset on a California beach, "much as the film's original closing must have looked."
The restored version is available as one of the titles included in the 4-DVD box-set Treasures from American Film Archives, 50 Preserved Films .
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The following is an overview of 1922 in film, including significant events, a list of films released and notable births and deaths.
Anna May Wong was an American actress, considered to be the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star, as well as the first Chinese American actress to gain international recognition. Her varied career spanned silent film, sound film, television, stage, and radio.
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Wong Tung Jim, A.S.C., known professionally as James Wong Howe (Houghto), was a Chinese-born American cinematographer who worked on over 130 films. During the 1930s and 1940s, he was one of the most sought after cinematographers in Hollywood due to his innovative filming techniques. Howe was known as a master of the use of shadow and one of the first to use deep-focus cinematography, in which both foreground and distant planes remain in focus.
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International House is a 1933 American pre-Code comedy film starring Peggy Hopkins Joyce and W. C. Fields, directed by A. Edward Sutherland and released by Paramount Pictures. The tagline of the film was "The Grand Hotel of comedy". It is a mixture of comedy and musical acts tied together by a slim plot line, in the style of the Big Broadcast pictures that were also released by Paramount during the 1930s. In addition to some typical comedic lunacy from W. C. Fields and Burns and Allen, it provides a snapshot of some popular stage and radio acts of the era. The film includes some risqué pre-Code humor.
Winton C. Hoch, A.S.C. was an American cinematographer. He was earlier a lab technician who contributed to the development of Technicolor before becoming a cinematographer in 1936. His understanding of the color process quickly led to his being hailed as one of Hollywood's premier color cinematographers. Hoch never made a film in black and white.
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Doctor X is a 1932 American pre-Code two-color Technicolor horror/mystery film, produced jointly by First National and Warner Bros. Based on the play originally titled The Terror by Howard W. Comstock and Allen C. Miller, it was directed by Michael Curtiz and stars Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, and Lee Tracy.
Sidney Arnold Franklin was an American film director and producer. Franklin, like William C. deMille, specialized in adapting literary works or Broadway stage plays.
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Mammy (1930) is an American pre-Code musical drama film with Technicolor sequences, released by Warner Bros. The film starred Al Jolson and was a follow-up to his previous film, Say It with Songs (1929). Mammy became Al Jolson's fourth feature, following earlier screen efforts as The Jazz Singer (1927), The Singing Fool (1928) and Say It with Songs (1929). The film relives Jolson's early years as a minstrel man. The songs were written by Irving Berlin, who is also credited with the original story titled Mr. Bones.
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine is a Technicolor 1936 American romance film based on the novel of the same name. The picture was directed by Henry Hathaway starring Fred MacMurray, Sylvia Sidney, and Henry Fonda. It was the second full-length feature film to be shot in three-strip Technicolor and the first in color to be shot outdoors, with the approval of the Technicolor Corporation. Much of it was shot at Big Bear Lake in southern California. The Trail of the Lonesome Pine was the fourth feature film adaptation of John Fox Jr.'s 1908 novel, including 1916 and 1923 silent versions. As with the novel, the film makes extensive use of Appalachian English in the dialogue.
Anna May Wong (1905–1961) was an American actress of Chinese heritage, who grew up in a culturally diverse neighborhood adjacent to Chinatown, Los Angeles. Her father believed in exposing his family to the creative arts, and often took them to see traditional Chinese stage productions. Young Anna, however, was fascinated by the emerging film industry in the area, and would fantasize herself as a movie actress like Pearl White or Mary Pickford. Her daydreams began to look like an achievable goal when local Baptist minister James Wang, who often worked with the film productions, recommended her as an extra in the Alla Nazimova silent production of The Red Lantern. Wong was only 14 years old, and eventually left school before graduating. While still a teenager, she was cast in the lead role of Lotus Flower in The Toll of the Sea.
The March of Time is the title of an unreleased 1930 American Pre-Code musical film directed by Charles Reisner. The film was originally scheduled to be released in September 1930 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer but was shelved. The March of Time would have been one of the many musicals partially filmed in two-color Technicolor.
Natural color was a term used in the beginning of film and later on in the 1920s, and early 1930s as a color film process that actually filmed color images, rather than a color tinted or colorized movie. The first natural color processes were in the 1900s and 1910s and were two color additive color processes or red and green missing primary color blue, one additive process of time was Kinemacolor. By the 1920s, subtractive color was mostly in use with such processes as Technicolor, Prizma and Multicolor, but Multicolor was mostly never in use in the late 1920s, Technicolor was mostly in use. The only one who cared to mess with Multicolor was William Fox, probably because Multicolor was more cheaper of a process and at the time in 1929 William Fox was in debt. The difference between additive color and subtractive color were that an additive color film required a special projector that could project two components of film at the same time, a green record and a red record. But additive color didn't required a special projector, the two pieces of film were chemically formed together and was projected in one strip of film.
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