The Toll of the Sea (1922) / Shifting Sand (1918) (Silent)

An American visiting Asia falls in love with a beautiful Chinese woman with tragic results. Amazing early Technicolor. / Blackmailers force a wrongly convicted woman into helping the Germans during WWI.
The Toll of the Sea (1922) / Shifting Sand (1918)
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 6620D
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 38 minutes
  • Video: Black & White / Color
  • Released: August 30, 2011
  • Originally Released: 1918
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Directed by &

Description by

The Toll of the Sea (1922, Color, Silent):Chinese maiden Lotus Flower (Anna May Wong) rescues shipwrecked Allen Carver when he washes ashore more dead than alive. Although reminded of the old proverb that the sea extracts twice the pain as whatever amount of joy it provides, she falls in love with the handsome American and eventually marries him. Allen, longing for his own kind, eventually abandons Lotus Flower and returns to the States - unaware that she is pregnant with his child. This loose adaptation of Puccini's classic opera, Madame Butterfly, was the first Technicolor feature film shot in Hollywood. The soft pastel hues perfectly complement Frances Marion's dreamily poetic scenario. The seascapes, settings and costumes take full advantage of Technicolor's then-limited palette of colors, and future star Anna May Wong - only 17 when Toll of the Sea was made - is positively radiant in her first leading role.

Shifting Sands (1918, B&W, Silent):Struggling artist Marcia Grey (Gloria Swanson) is falsely accused of theft by lecherous Henry Holt and sent to prison. Upon being released Marcia briefly considers suicide, but her unhappy life is transformed after meeting and falling in love with wealthy philanthropist John Stanford, whom she eventually marries. Years later, the villainous Holt - having assumed another identity - attempts to blackmail her into furthering one of his criminal schemes. Originally released in 1918 as a wartime melodrama in which the hero was a Secret Service agent and the villain a German spy, Shifting Sands was reissued several years later - after Gloria Swanson's ascendancy to super-stardom - reedited and retitled to remove the World War I angle. It is the reissue version that is presented on this disc. Under Albert Parker's expert direction, Swanson gives a subtle, restrained performance: she was clearly ready for grooming by master filmmaker Cecil B. De Mille, who made her a top box-office attraction the following year in Don't Change Your Husband and Male and Female.

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 2,251
  • UPC: 089218662095
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Alpha Video Labels:

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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