As it was for the ancients, so it shall ever be for China's Mr. Mandarin Wu: do not dishonor the family name. Not even Wu's beloved daughter shall be spared her father's wrath after she shares a forbidden romance with an Englishman.
As it was for the ancients, so it shall ever be for China's Mr. Mandarin Wu: do not dishonor the family name. Not even Wu's beloved daughter shall be spared her father's wrath after she shares a forbidden romance with an Englishman. Nor will Wu stop there: the man's family must suffer. Top-billed Lon Chaney essays dual characters (and plays them at various times of their lives) as the sage Grandfather Wu and his grandson, Mandarin Wu. The film's poster line shrieked: She was guilty of love and the unwritten code of the East cried for vengeance! That vengeance belongs to Wu.
Previously filmed in England in 1919, the barnstorming Harry Maurice Vernon-Harold Owen play Mr.Wu re-emerged as a Lon Chaney Sr. vehicle in 1927. Chaney essays a dual role, as the titular Wu and Wu's honorable grandfather. After a lengthy prologue, it is established that Wu is a powerful, ruthless Chinese aristocrat who will stop at nothing to defend his daughter Nang Ping's (Renee Adoree) honor. When Nang Ping is seduced and abandoned by wealthy Briton Basil Gregory (Ralph Forbes), Wu begins plotting a horrible revenge, beginning with the killing of his own daughter (who goes to her fate with stoic resignation). He then captures Gregory's mother (Louise Dresser) and sister (Gertrude Olmstead), then forces Basil to watch as he prepares to subject the two women to unspeakable tortures. Wu is ultimately killed by Basil's mother, bringing this bizarre exercise in chinoiserie to a grim conclusion.
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