postcard from Shanghai, May 9, 1922

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It was May 9, 1922, 6 PM in Shanghai and 6 AM in New York. The Toll of the Sea (1922), dir. Chester M. Franklin. In this segment, the common law wife of an American who has abandoned her considers the letters he sends to her in China from America. Joe Schenck produced it in Hollywood. Anna May Wong stars. Restored in 1985 by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the entire film plays here.
"Dear Friend Frank, I am leaving for the north tonight, and will be at Tsinganfu, the capitol of Shantung Province. At the present time there is a little war going on in that region. My kindest regards to your dear folks. Best wishes. L.J.A."
The "little war going on in that region" was the May 4th movement, regarded by many as a crucial step towards China's Maoist future. "Friend Frank" was, by avocation, a volunteer fireman and, by vocation, a banker in Bronxville, NY. This is the movie Herbert Kalmus of Technicolor commissioned to showcase 2-strip (two color) Technicolor as a vehicle for feature movies. Exhibitors threaded red and blue-green matrixes glued back-to-back through conventional projectors.