Monday, August 3, 2009

Sessue Hayakawa: The Dragon Painter & Three Came Home

In response to some emails I received from disappointed viewers who were unable to see the Sessue Hayakawa trio of films on TCM the other night, I thought that I would post a portion of one of this actor's best silents as well as one of his finest talkies, which can be seen complete below. Thanks to all those who let me know they enjoyed the original post.

The Dragon Painter (1919): An excerpt from this film, directed by William Worthington, with an exceptionally beautiful modern film score by Mark Izu, begins below with the now familiar background of Yosemite standing in for an Asian landscape. This clip may give a taste of the character of the dissatisfied artist created by a young, thirty year old actor, Sessue Hayakawa. This film is available on DVD from Milestone Films.

Three Came Home (1950): This Jean Negulesco-directed film is reportedly in the public domain but is available in a very good, bare bones DVD for a small cost. This film, produced and adapted by Nunnally Johnson can be viewed in its entirety online in a quite good quality print via the Internet Archive. I would draw your attention to the score by Alfred Newman, which is exceptional, adding greatly to the quality of the storytelling, as does Negulesco's gifted framing of black and white imagery and the fine acting.


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