Piccadilly Circus – Piccadilly (1929)

Piccadilly (1929) | Piccadilly Circus

Silent melodrama in which Charles Laughton disrupts the cabaret in a nightspot with a loud complaint about a dirty plate. When the owner investigates he finds Shosho (Anna May Wong) dancing to entertain her fellow workers, so he fires her on the spot. Later she’s rehired as a dancer and catches the eye of the male half of the previous dancing act, leading to her murder. (As was usually the case throughout Anna May Wong’s career, her character dies). Wong was Chinese American rather than Chinese, having been born in California, and was the focus of a Hollywood scandal when she dated ‘Dracula’ and ‘Freaks’ director Tod Browning, she was 18 and he was 43. (Browning’s ‘The Blackbird’ is on the map at Limehouse.)