Spoiled socialite Edith Hardy (Fanny Ward) embezzles $10,000 from the local Red Cross fund drive to play the stock market and loses it all. In desperation she goes to the fantastically wealthy Burmese ivory trader Haka Arakau (Sessue Hayakawa), who agrees to loan her the money … for a price. In 1915, Hayakawa’s elegant villain was identified as Japanese but that was changed to Burmese for the picture’s 1918 re-release because Japanese Americans protested his nefarious character. The film caused a sensation and made Hayakawa a star—and a sex symbol. His exquisite good looks were enhanced by cinematographer Alvin Wyckoff’s Rembrandt-like lighting that bathes the picture in light and shadow. Hayakawa’s subtle acting style was revolutionary for the era and director Cecil B. DeMille was at his best.
Free admittance for children under 12
Live Music by Wayne Barker
Wayne Barker has garnered acclaim both for his original compositions and live performances in the theater, including a Tony nomination for best original score on Peter and the Starcatcher. His numerous credits include piano scores for Beth Henley’s Laugh, an homage to silent-era slapstick; and Joe DiPietro’s Hollywood, centered around the 1922 murder of director William Desmond Taylor. He composed for Dame Edna Everage as well as appeared onstage as Master of the Dame’s Music for six years.
Image Credit: Jim Cox