Anna May Wong profiled on TCM

As part of the Race & Hollywood: Asian Images in Film, Anna May Wong is profiled tonite on TCM. They will be showing a documentary about her life – Frosted Yellow Willows: Her Life, Times and Legend. If you don’t know, Anna May Wong is the first female Chinese-American movie star and the first Asian American to be an international star. She accomplished this while the Chinese Exclusion Act was still going one. Even people in China knew her as a major Hollywood celebrity.

Here’s a synopsis of the documentary

With disarming sensuality and commanding presence, Anna May Wong defined the role of the “Dragon Lady.” Narrated by Nancy Kwan, Anna May Wong ~Frosted Yellow Willows: Her Life, Times, and Legend is a story about a Chinese American woman who endured many hardships and heartaches to become an international film star. From humble beginnings in a Chinese laundry, she went on to star in pictures such as Technicolorʼs Toll of the Sea (1922), E.A. Dupontʼs Piccadilly (1929) and Josef von Sternbergʼs Shanghai Express (1932) with Marlene Dietrich. Never one to rest on her laurels, Anna would utilize her fame to aid her country and the country of her ancestors during times of war. Her body of work establishes her as a true pioneer of early cinema.

Along with the documentary, the following films will be shown as well: The Toll of the Sea (1922), Old San Francisco (1927), Piccadilly (1929), Daughter of the Dragon (1931), Shanghai Express (1932). Interestingly enough, the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival spotlighted Anna May Wong back in 2004.

Watch the promo for Anna May Wong

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