Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Just before making his talkie directorial debut with Atlantic, director E.A. DuPont dashed off the silent "backstage" drama Piccadilly. By the time the film was released in 1929, talking pictures had taken a firm hold of the British film industry, obliging DuPont to reshoot much of the picture with dialogue. American screen favorites Anna May Wong and Gilda Gray (the girl who popularized the "shimmy dance") head the cast, the former as Shosho, a dishwasher in the London nightclub where the latter, cast as dancer Mabel Greenfield, performs nightly. Jealous of Mabel's dancing partner Victor Smiles (Cyril Ritchard), club owner Wilmot (Jameson Thomas) fires Victor, whereupon business drops off dramatically. In desperation, Wilmot takes Shosho out of the kitchen and puts her on stage, where she scores a big success. Feeling threatened by Shosho, Mabel heads to her rival's apartment with blood in her eye. A shot rings out, Shosho falls dead, and Mabel is accused of murder. But during the trial, it turns out that Shosho was done in by her Chinese sweetheart Jim (Kim Ho Chang). In his first feature film appearance, Charles Laughton performs an outrageous bit as a rowdy night club patron; also seen in a minuscule role is young Ray Milland. The talkie version of Piccadilly wasn't released in the U.S. until 1932.
dancer, dishwasher, love-triangle, nightclub, partner