Five Days to Live (1922)

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After a long run of popularity on the silent screen, Sessue Hayakawa's starring career was starting to wane. That didn't detract from this excellent melodrama, however, which features an all-Oriental cast (rare in the silent era). Tai Leung, a penniless sculptor (Hayakawa), is infatuated with Ko Ai (Tsuru Aoki, Hayakawa's real-life spouse), a slavey who he has only admired from afar. Ko Ai's mercenary master, Chong Wo (Goro Kino), claims to be her father when a wealthy Mandarin offers him a vast sum for the girl's hand in marriage. But Tai Leung manages to buy Chong Wo off. The problem is that he has come up with the money by offering to substitute for a criminal who is to be executed in five days. When Ko Ai finds out that her new husband is to be put to death, she decides to inhale a poisonous incense so that she may join him. But the criminal dies before the execution, which lets Tai Leung off. He dashes to Ko Ai just in time to revive her.

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Keywords

damsel-in-distress, daughter, death, father, imprisonment, love-conquers-all, marriage, marriage-arranged, marriage-of-convenience, outlaw [Western], sculpture, suicide