Thursday, January 29, 2015

Anna May Wong, the Star (Appreciation Post/That's Old News!)

As January nears its close, I'd like to honor our Star of the Month with an "appreciation post" and by also making her the sole subject of January's "That's Old News!" installment. 


That's Old News! (January 2015)

From NoirWHALE

After working the stages and screens of Europe for a few years, Anna May Wong brought her stage talent to Broadway for the first time in 1930. Click here to read The Milwaukee Sentinel's rave review of her performance in On the Spot, a "Chicago gangster play". 

From The Red List

There always seemed (and seems) to be much interest in Anna May Wong's ethnicity and nationality. The November 3, 1934 issue of The Montreal Gazette featured an article that expressed awe over Ms. Wong's "strange combination" of East and West. Click here to read it.

From Explore Chinatown

A December 1936 issue of The Pittsburgh Press reported Anna May Wong's complaints about discrimination in Hollywood. The newspaper seemed to dismiss Ms. Wong's charges, however. Read the article here.

From the Google News Archive

*This news story might be triggering, for it contains some violent/graphic keywords. 

A March 1937 issue of The Bulletin reported physical threats against Anna May Wong, her father, and against Mrs. David O. Selznick's children by a "Dr. E.J. Foote" if the actress and the producer's wife didn't give him $20,000 each. Read more of the story here.

From Love HK Film

Anna May Wong and Philip Ahn were not only co-stars on a few films, but they were also childhood friends. Did a real life romance ever blossom between the two? They (somewhat) denied the rumors in an October 1937 issue of the Herald-Journal. Read it here.


Anna May Wong Appreciation

Movies Online

Anna May Wong: In Her Own Words
(2013 documentary on YouTube)

Hollywood on Parade No. A-3 (1932) (YouTube)
(Anna May Wong plays herself in this short)

Hollywood Party (1937) (YouTube)
(After 8 minutes and 50 seconds of cultural appropriation abound, Anna May Wong emerges in part one of the upload of this short)

The Toll of the Sea (1922) (YouTube)
(Anna May Wong's first lead role)

The Thief of Bagdad (1924) (The Internet Archive)
(Anna May Wong appears as "The Mongol Slave")

Daughter of the Dragon (1931) (YT)
(Anna May Wong stars in this Dr. Fu Manchu film as "Ling Moy")

A Study in Scarlet (1933) (The Internet Archive)
(Anna May Wong stars in this Sherlock Holmes film as "Mrs. Pyke")

Limehouse Blues (1934) (The Internet Archive)
(Anna May Wong stars as "Tu Tuan")

Bombs Over Burma (1942) (IA)
(Anna May Wong stars as "Lin Ying")

Lady from Chungking (1942) (IA)
(Anna May Wong stars as "Kwan Mei")

Impact (1949) (IA)
(Anna May Wong appears in this Film Noir as "Su Lin Chung")

Television Appearance Online

"The Lady from South Chicago" - Adventures in Paradise (YT)
(Anna May Wong appears as "Madam Lu Yang" in this 1959 episode of Adventures in Paradise)



Anna May Wong: From Laundryman's Daughter to Hollywood Legend (2012) 
(by Graham Russell Gao Hodges) 
(Google Books link)

Anna May Wong: A Complete Guide to Her Film, Stage, Radio and Television Work (2010)
(by Philip Leibfried and Chei Mi Lane)
(Google Books link)

Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story (2009)
(A Juvenile Nonfiction book written by Paula Yoo)
(Google Books link)

Anna May Wong's Lucky Shoes: 1939 Australia Through The Eyes Of An Art Deco Diva (2008)
(by Derham Groves)
(Amazon link)

The China Mystique: Pearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong, Mayling Soong, and the Transformation of American Orientalism (2005)
(by Karen J. Leong)
(Amazon link)

China Doll: The Imagined Life of an American Actress (2005)
(A playbook by Elizabeth Wong)
(Google Books link)


I hope you found this post to be very informative! I like to think of myself as a champion of classic stars of color. I'm an admirer of their talents and I'm appreciative of the foundations they laid. Though I have a tendency to lament on their struggles and what they couldn't do, I try my hardest to help shine a light on the things they did do. That's really what People of Color in Classic Film is all about. 

Thank you all for being on this journey with me. Please share this post--as well as other posts/media on the worldwide web that relate to Anna May Wong. Let us forever remember her as the beautiful and super-talented legend and trailblazer that she was. 

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