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July 30th, 2012

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10:35 pm - Sessue Hayakawa
Rudy Valentino has appeared on this journal more than once, so I thought I might introduce his predecessor: the late, great Sessue Hayakawa.

That's a clip from The Cheat, a film whose critical and popular acclaim made Hayakawa among the highest-paid male leads in Hollywood. He starred in dozens of films, most of which cast him as a brooding and sexually threatening villain-cum-love-interest (and almost all of which are now lost). When he got tired of playing the same role in every film, he started his own production company, making movies with Asian settings and Asian casts portrayed sympathetically and without stereotype. The young and then-unknown Rudy Valentino was brought in to fill his niche, starting with The Sheik, the now-notorious film which catapulted him to stardom.

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Date:August 12th, 2012 06:59 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting this! It's a shame how Hollywood has gone 180˚ in terms of portraying Asian men as desirable.

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