Son of the Gods

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Son of the Gods
SonoftheGods1930.jpg
Directed by Frank Lloyd
Produced by Frank Lloyd
Written by Bradley King
based on the novel by Rex Beach
Starring Richard Barthelmess
Constance Bennett
Frank Albertson
Cinematography Ernest Haller (Technicolor)
Distributed by First National Pictures
Release dates
  • March 9, 1930 (1930-03-09)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Son of the Gods (1930) is an all-talking pre-code romantic drama film with Technicolor sequences, produced and released by First National Pictures, a subsidiary of Warner Bros.. It was adapted from the novel of the same name by Rex Beach. Richard Barthelmess and Constance Bennett star as a couple in love who have a falling-out when she discovers that, though he looks Caucasian, he is actually Chinese.

Synopsis[edit]

Sam Lee (Barthelmess) is the son of a Chinese merchant, Lee Ying, in San Francisco's Chinatown. He is tolerated in white dominated social circles because of his wealth. One day, he leaves college after being insulted by three racist white girls who thought they were too good to be seen going out with a "dirty yellow Chinaman". He takes a tour around the world and ends up in the Riviera where he is introduced to Allana Wagner (Bennett).

Allana falls madly in love with Sam and refuses to her anything about his background. Sam is afraid to pursue a relationship with her until she tells him that she used to date a man from India and that she is open to interracial relationships. Sam then becomes Allana's boyfriend and everything goes well for a while. One day, however, Allana discovers that Sam is Chinese and she flies into a rage and lashes him in public with her riding crop.

Heartbroken, Sam now returns home, only to find that his father is on his deathbed. Sam now discovers that his parents were both white and that he had been orphaned as a child. Allana, unable to quench her love for Sam, returns to the United States in order to find him. She declares her love for Sam before he has a chance to tell her that he is indeed white. The film ends with the lovers happily reunited.

Cast[edit]

  • Richard Barthelmess as Sam Lee
  • Constance Bennett as Allana Wagner
  • Anders Randolf as Wagner, Allana's father
  • E. Alyn Warren as Lee Ying, Sam's father
  • Claude King as Bathurst
  • Frank Albertson as Kicker
  • King Hou Chang as Moy
  • Mildred Van Dorn as Eileen
  • Barbara Leonard as Mabel

Preservation[edit]

The film only survives in black and white. One reel was originally in Technicolor, but no color prints seem to have survived. This reel takes place in Chinatown and tells us story of how Barthelmess was orphaned and adopted by the Chinese man he had thought was his father. Current prints present this originally color sequence in sepia-tone.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]