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The Red Kimono

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Story by  Adela Rogers St. Johns
6.2/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama, Romance
Country  United States
The Red Kimono movie poster

Language  Silent English intertitles
Director  Walter Lang Dorothy Davenport (uncredited)
Writer  Adela Rogers St. Johns, Dorothy Arzner, Malcolm Stuart Boylan
Release date  November 16, 1925 (1925-11-16)
Directors  Dorothy Davenport, Walter Lang
Screenplay  Dorothy Davenport, Dorothy Arzner, Malcolm Stuart Boylan
Cast  Priscilla Bonner (Gabrielle), Nellie Bly Baker (Clara), Carl Miller (Howard Blaine), Mary Carr (The matron), Virginia Pearson (Mrs. Fontaine), Tyrone Power Sr. (Gabrielle's father)
Similar movies  Paprika, Zandalee, Jamon Jamon, Django Unchained, The Wolf of Wall Street, Forrest Gump
Tagline  You Will Get a Thrill From MRS. WALLACE REID'S amazing story of the traffic in girls!

The red kimono a novel by jan morrill

The Red Kimono is a 1925 American silent film drama about prostitution produced by Dorothy Davenport (billed as Mrs. Wallace Reid) and starring Priscilla Bonner.


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Production background

The film is notable today for being one of the few independent productions produced and written by women. This is the third of Davenport's "social conscience" releases, preceded by Human Wreckage (1923) on the topic of drug addiction (released five months after Wallace Reid's death from morphine), and Broken Laws (1924) about excessive mother-love.

The film is based on a real case of prostitution that took place in New Orleans in 1917. This film, billing itself as a true story, used the real name of the woman played by Priscilla Bonner who as a consequence sued producer Dorothy Davenport for a hefty sum in court and won. The case, Melvin v Reid has been cited recently in the emerging "right to be forgotten" cases around the world as an early example of one's right to leave a past one wishes to forget. In the ruling of the California Appellate Court (Melvin v. Reid, 112 Cal.App. 285, 297 P. 91 (1931)) the Court stated, "any person living a life of rectitude has that right to happiness which includes a freedom from unnecessary attacks on his character, social standing or reputation."

As with Davenport's earlier Human Wreckage in 1924, this film was banned in the United Kingdom by the British Board of Film Censors in 1926.


  • Priscilla Bonner - Gabrielle Darley
  • Nellie Bly Baker - Clara Johnson, Gabrielle's neighbor
  • Carl Miller - Howard Blaine
  • Mary Carr - Prison Matron
  • Virginia Pearson - Mrs. Beverly Fontaine
  • Tyrone Power, Sr. - Gabrielle's father
  • Sheldon Lewis - District Attorney
  • Theodore von Eltz - Terrance O'Day or, Freddy Fred the Chauffeur
  • Emily Fitzroy - The Housekeeper
  • George Siegmann - Mr. Mack, A Client
  • Dot Farley - Inquisitive Woman
  • Max Asher - H.E. Reid, a Jeweler
  • Dorothy Davenport - Woman narrating the story (unbilled)
  • Ellinor Vanderveer - Woman with Defense Attorney's Wife
  • Lottie Williams - Crying Woman in rag clothes in Courtroom
  • Preservation status

    A copy of this film is preserved at the Library of Congress. A DVD edition was released in the early 2000s.


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