Vintage original 8 x 10 in. US single-weight glossy photograph from the 1920s revenge-themed silent film drama, WHERE EAST IS EAST, released in 1929 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and directed by Tod Browning.
The image depicts animal trapper Tiger Haynes (Lon Chaney) about to leap from the upper level of his Indo-Chinese complex. It is in near-fine- condition.
*"Where East Is East is a 1929 American silent drama film starring Lon Chaney as an animal trapper in Laos. The motion picture is Chaney's penultimate silent film and the last of his collaborations with director Tod Browning. While this film is essentially a silent film in form, with intertitles and no spoken dialogue, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released it with a Movietone soundtrack of effects and music."
*"The upcoming Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (M-G-M) production was announced in the 24 November 1928 Los Angeles Times and the 26 November 1928 Los Angeles Evening Express as the next starring vehicle for actor Lon Chaney. It was speculated that location shots would to be made in the Malay Archipelago, and feature “appropriate jungle beasts.” Chaney was expected to wear elaborate make-up, as he had with many of his other characterizations. Several days later, the 9 December 1928 [San Francisco, CA] Examiner stated that Chaney would likely be heavily tattooed for the role.
According to the 22 Dec 1928 Motion Picture News, Jetta Goudal was initially cast in the role of “Madame de Sylva” before negotiations with M-G-M broke down and she was replaced by Estelle Taylor. Mexican actress Lupe Velez was loaned to the production by Paramount Pictures Corp. The 17 February 1929 Los Angeles Times claimed that Velez had begun learning Chinese since joining the cast, which included several native speakers. She intended to combine her Chinese vocabulary with Spanish, allowing her to express unpleasantries without being understood.
Principal photography began on 3 January 1929 at M-G-M Studios in Culver City, CA, as stated in the 4 February 1929 Exhibitors Herald-World.The 4 Jan 1929 Los Angeles Evening Express noted that director Tod Browning had chosen Indian-born actress Mademoiselle Kithnou to play Estelle Taylor’s maid. An item in the 9 Jan 1929 New York Daily News claimed that the film’s working title had been East Is East, despite evidence to the contrary. On 13 January 1929, the Los Angeles Times revealed that an entire river was being constructed on the M-G-M backlot. The planned riverbed was 2,000 feet long and 300 feet wide, fed by water from an artesian well, with the help of a pump to maintain a current. An “elaborate Siamese village set” was also built on the lot, according to the 13 February 1929 [Oakland, CA] Tribune.
Where East Is East was released on 4 May 1929, preceded by an opening on 22 April 1929 at the Olympic Theatre in Canyon, TX. Other openings followed on 6 May 1929 at the Walden Theatre in North Adams, MA; on 9 May 1929 at the Graham Theatre in Burlington, NC; and on 25 May 1929 at the Capitol Theatre in New York City. Critics singled out Estelle Taylor’s performance as the highlight of the picture, exemplified by an advertisement in the 15 June 1929 Hollywood Filmograph, comprised of rave reviews for Taylor from several New York City newspapers. The film was also listed as the fourth most popular current release by the 6 July 1929 Motion Picture News.
According to the Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database, this film is extant."
*(source: AFI Catalog of Feature Films)
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