MR. WU (1927)
Article #790 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-14-2003
Posting Date: 10-11-2003
Directed by William Nigh
Featuring Lon Chaney, Louis Dressler, Renee Adoree
Troubles arise when an American boy romances the only daughter of a chinese Mandarin.
Title check: No problem here; there is a character called Wu, (though I don’t know if he’s ever referred to as “Mr.” Wu.)
Lon Chaney does a wonderful job in two roles (he essentially plays the main character and his grandfather), and the movie is quite entertaining, but as I was watching the movie, I really began wondering why it was included in a book that listed fantastic movies, despite the fact that the plot takes some dark turns in the last third of the movie. Actually, it does qualify in the last moments, primarily due to some ghost-like figures. Still, this does remain marginal, if entertaining, and Chaney gives one of his most restrained performances, one that emphasizes subtlety rather than grotesque makeup; no one has a physical deformity in this one.