In San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1890s, a singer known as the “Frisco Doll” is a woman kept by a wealthy Chinese man. When she tries to flee her golden cage, she stabs him in self-defence. Doll heads to Alaska by ship and the captain promptly falls in love with her. Also onboard is the missionary Sister Annie. Headed to Nome to save the settlement house there, she befriends the amoral adventuress. When Sister Annie dies suddenly, and with the police hot on her heels, Doll assumes the missionary’s identity. Using charisma and charm, Annie/Doll revives interest in the Klondike mission, and draws the romantic interest of a detective ... “That’s what we need in this town, law and order.” In the story, West’s character goes through a transformation and becomes “good”. Nonetheless, her subversive attitude made the film a target of the Hays Office. The actress could not be forgiven for the sins of Doll – mistress to an Asian man, murderer, and impersonator of a religious figure who seduces a representative of law and order into forgetting his oath of office, and getting away with it all. After the censors had done their work, only a shortened version of Klondike Annie survived.
by Raoul Walsh
with Mae West, Victor McLaglen, Phillip Reed, Helen Jerome Eddy, Harry Beresford, Harold Huber, Conway Tearle, Esther Howard, Soo Yong
USA 1936 English 78’ Black/White

With

  • Mae West
  • Victor McLaglen
  • Phillip Reed
  • Helen Jerome Eddy
  • Harry Beresford
  • Harold Huber
  • Conway Tearle
  • Esther Howard
  • Soo Yong

Crew

Director Raoul Walsh
Screenplay Mae West based on a play by Mae West
Story Marion Morgan, George B. Dowell
Dialogue Mae West
Cinematography George Clemens
Editing Stuart Heisler
Sound Harold Lewis, Louis Mesenkop
Art Director Bernard Herzbrun, Hans Dreier
Producer William LeBaron

Produced by

Paramount Productions, Inc.

Additional information

Print: NBCUniversal, Universal City, CA

Raoul Walsh

Filmography

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022