Five Days to Live

Five Days to Live is a 1922 American silent drama film directed by Norman Dawn and featuring Sessue Hayakawa, Tsuru Aoki,[2] Goro Kino, Misao Seki, Toyo Fujita, and George Kuwa.

Five Days to Live
Lobby card
Directed byNorman Dawn
Screenplay byEve Unsell
Garrett Fort
Story byDorothy Goodfellow
Based onThe Street of the Flying Dragon
by Dorothy Goodfellow[1]
Release date
  • January 8, 1922 (1922-01-08) (USA)
Running time
60 min
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film magazine,[3] Tai Leung (Hayakawa), a poor artist who paints vases, befriends Ko Ai (Aoki) when she is knocked down by a passing vehicle and he later returns a pig to her that was lost in the melee. Her guardian orders him from the place, but his love for the young Chinese woman grows stronger each day and he makes love to her by stealth through the barred window of her room. To satisfy a debt owed by the guardian, Ko Ai is betrothed to a wicked old money lender and Tai becomes desperate as the day of the wedding approaches. On learning that the notorious thief "The Canton Wolf," who is set to be executed in five days, will turn over his ill-gotten wealth to anyone who will take his place on the day of his execution, Tai goes to him and agrees to be his substitute in return for his gold. The Tai then showers Ko Ai with jewels and money and wins her guardian's consent for their marriage. The five days of their honeymoon slip by rapidly and, on the last day, Tai tells her of his sacrifice. She agrees to die also. Tai goes to the prison to fulfill his promise but is saved from the executioner's ax as he finds that "The Wolf" has died from cholera. Tai rushes back to his cottage just in time to save his bride from taking her own life by inhaling poisonous incense.



  1. ^ Goble, Alan (January 1, 1999). The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter. p. 186. ISBN 978-3-11-095194-3.
  2. ^ Chung, Hye Seung (2006). Hollywood Asian: Philip Ahn and the Politics of Cross-ethnic Performance. Temple University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-59213-517-2.
  3. ^ "Reviews: Five Days to Live". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 14 (3): 58. January 14, 1922.

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