Honorable Friend (1916)

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Charismatic Japanese film star (Sessue Hayakawa and his charming wife Tsuri Aoki were teamed in the complicated melodrama Honorable Friend. The story takes place in an Japanese community in coastal California, where crooked antique dealer Kayosho (Raymond Hatton) holds sway as the richest man in town. Purchasing a "picture bride" from the Old Country, Kayosho sends his faithful assistant Makino (Hayakawa) to Japan to escort the girl back to America. But upon gazing at the beauty of bride-to-be Toki-Ye (Aori), Makino falls in love with her himself. Declaring that she would sooner kill herself than become Kayosho's bride, Toki-Ye apparently plants the seed of a murder plot in Makino's head. When Kayosho turns up dead, Makino and Toki-Ye each assume that the other is the guilty party, and each assumes the blame. It turns out, however, that the actual culprit is the fellow whom one would least suspect (if one were not a member of the movie audience, that is).