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A Richard Eichberg production, in which the work of Anna May Wong, and a charming actress, Tilla Garden, is outstanding. The story is rather weak, but some good shots of Nice and lavish interiors are very delightful to the eye.
Story: "Princess Butterfly,“ a Chinese girl in a show-booth, escapes through the dark streets and takes refuge in a poorpainter's studio. She becomes his model and helps to sell his pictures, but the money she receives is stolen from her by Coco, who was responsible for her leaving the show-booth. The artist, suspecting her, turns her out, and she accepts the protection of a wealthy French nobleman. Seeing Coco at the gaming tables, she robs him. She is arrested, but released, and goes away, leaving the artist with his new-found love.
Acting: Anna May Wong, as the Chinese girl, carries much of the picture upon her shoulders, her eloquent expression of sorrow at being misunderstood and her rejection by the artist being very charmingly done. Tina Garden and Louis Lerch, as the lovers, are delightful; the former has a fresh charm which bespeaks a successful film future for her. Other roles are adequately filled, Gaston Jacquet, as the nobleman, being the best of the supporting cast.
Production: This film has obviously been considerably cut, and suffers in continuity as a result. Richard Eichberg, who directed, has not been given a very strong story, but he has made the most of what opportunities have come his way, and there are many scenes in the film which are thoroughly well conceived. Eichberg has used both his actresses well, and he has invested the love passages between Tilla Garden and Louis Lerch with enchantment.
Settings and Photography: Photography is everywhere clear, and the shots of Nice are very beautiful. The artist's studio, the Parisian streets, and the lavish hotel interiors stand out as the best of the settings. Fog and river scenes are well handled.
Points of Appeal: The star appeal of Anna May Wong, and her pathetic interpretation of the emotional crises.
Kinematograph Weekly, 12.12.1929, p.39