Java Head (1934)

February 10th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: J Walter Ruben | Cast Anna Mae Wong, Elizabeth Allen, John Loder, Ralph Richardson |

In the 1880s the port city of Bristol is home Java Head a sailing ship line company. The owner has two sons . One, a handsome seaman is in love with a local girl but unable to marry her due to their feuding fathers. Eventually he returns home with an exotic and upmarket Chinese wife.

Anna Mae Wong gets one of the final roles worthy of her in this adaptation of Joseph Hergesheimer’s novel which manages to sail the high seas without ever leaving Ealing and constitutes the fifth and final of five films she made in Britain.

Although Miss Mae Wong as “a heathen Chinese” married to an Englishman introduced to a horrified Nineteenth century Britain doesn’t even appear until nearly halfway through the film she gets top billing, making an unlikely team with English rose Elizabeth Allan, their names appear before Edmond Gwenn and John Loder who come in at third and fourth with Ralph Richardson coming up at the rear at fifth in the cast list.

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