J'ai Tué! (1924)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - France  |  
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Originally released in 1924 and fully restored in 1990 by the Cinematheque Française, this silent French melodrama is especially notable for starring Japanese actor Sessue Hayakawa. The story centers on the wealthy wife of a professor of "Orientalism." She is being harassed by a pair of con men who are blackmailing her for an alleged indiscretion. Her old friend and business associate Hideo (Hayakawa) has just moved to Tokyo after losing his family in the country's devastating 1923 earthquake. An antique dealer by trade, he starts looking for ways to prove that the blackmailing is just an elaborate scam and not based on fact. This leads to tragedy when Hideo is mistakenly charged with the murder of the wife's husband, who suffered from a weak heart and was trying to save her from one of the grifters when he died. Hideo's willingness to die to protect her honor, touches the wife into disclosing the past problem that has caused everyone so much grief.



accusation, blackmail, con/scam, death, devotion [dedication], false-accusation, fidelity, frame-up, friendship, honor [recognition], husband, killing, marriage, murder, professor, romance, secrets, self-sacrifice