OLD SAN FRANCISCO
DIRECTOR: ALAN CROSLAND
CAST: ANNA MAY WONG, WARNER OLAND, DOLORES COSTELLO, JOSEF SWICKARD
Introduced by NYU historian John Kuo Wei Tchen, co-founder of the Museum of Chinese in America.
In the bad, corrupt old San Francisco Tenderloin of the turn of the last century, corruptto- the-bone Chris Buckwell (Warner Oland, Hollywood’s favorite faux-Asian) makes a good living skimming the local suckers and bullying the Chinese community—the better to conceal his mixed-race background, and the fact that Wong, in a small but piquant role, is his invaluable assistant. Add in Spanish grandees, mad dwarves, and the great earthquake of 1906, and you’ve got a humdinger of a good time.