“My Life is in Danger,” Says Sessue Hayakawa

December 3, 2010 at 7:22 am (Movie Weekly)

Last week, I posted a couple of articles from this issue… here are a couple more.

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Charles Ray discusses his new productions for United Artists, including his upcoming “super-feature,” The Courtship of Miles Standish. No expense will be spared. And as a United Artists producer, all of those expenses are being paid out of Ray’s pocket. Because of exhibition contracts, UA releases tend to earn best in big-city picture palaces. But Ray’s fans are mostly in small towns and rural areas. Can you guess how this story ends?

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Bucking all the odds, Japanese actor Sessue Hayakawa had become a star of the American silent screen. But his career was on the downswing in the early 1920s, and he left Hollywood behind. Ironically, when he returned to his native country, he found himself a controversial figure, considered too Americanized at a time of rising Japanese nationalism. What do you do when you’re too Japanese to suit the Americans, and too American to suit the Japanese? You move to Europe.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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  1. Otto said,

    please post the continuation of the article, thank you!

    • unkvid said,

      I would, if I had it!

  2. Harold Aherne said,

    Miles Standish was an incredible blot of red ink for poor Charles Ray–right up to the mid/late 1930s, it was often cited in news articles as a textbook example of a huge flop that damaged its star’s career. I’ve also read that the sets were left standing years after the film was released.

    I recently asked a Nitratevillain to look up Charlie’s FIAF holdings and the results were better than I hoped for–all but one of his 1917 films survive and a few other Triangles and many more Ince-Paramounts do. While not all of these holdings have been confirmed (or verified to be complete), his silent feature survival rate is tentatively about 46%. Oddly, just 2 of his 14 First National films are extant (THE OLD SWIMMIN’ HOLE and SMUDGE). Both of his UA films survive overseas (A TAILOR-MADE MAN at Gosfilmofond and THE GIRL I LOVED at Belgium’s Cinematheque Royale). The latter is known to be incomplete–Kevin Brownlow arranged for a tape copy to be made for Patsy Ruth Miller. Still, it would be nice to have some of these re-patriated and for Charlie to be better-appreciated among modern silent fans.

    • unkvid said,

      I’d sure love to see whatever’s left of THE GIRL I LOVED. It was successful enough (or perhaps Ray was just fond of it enough) that he staged it as a play in Los Angeles after the film’s release. Seems like the quintessential pastoral romance, exactly his specialty.

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