The Purple Dawn

The Purple Dawn[note 1] is a 1923 American silent romantic drama film that was produced, written, and directed by Charles R. Seeling.[2][5][6] It stars Bessie Love, Bert Sprotte, and William E. Aldrich.

The Purple Dawn
Directed byCharles R. Seeling
Written byCharles R. Seeling
Produced byCharles R. Seeling[1]
Distributed byAywon Film Corporation[3]
Release date
  • May 10, 1923 (1923-05-10) (U.S.)[2]
Running time
5 reels[4]
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The film is presumed lost.[7]


In San Francisco's Chinatown, Mui Far (Love), a Chinese American girl, falls in love with a young white sailor (Aldrich), who is robbed when he attempts to deliver a package of opium. The sailor meets a white girl in the country, and falls in love with her. The original owners of the opium think that the sailor stole the opium, and kidnap him and his new sweetheart. Mui Far is heartbroken, but rescues the sailor and his new sweetheart. She then commits suicide by walking into San Francisco Bay at dawn.[2][4][5][8]



Per the film's title, the final 100 feet of film were tinted light purple for dramatic effect.[11]


The film received good reviews, although the scene where the hero receives a beating was deemed "far too brutal to please the eye."[5] Bessie Love's performance received positive reviews.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ All contemporaneous reviews and advertising for the film include "The" in the title.
  2. ^ Called "Wong Chang" by some sources.
  1. ^ a b Love 1977, p. 151
  2. ^ a b c d e Munden, Kenneth W., ed. (1971). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films 1921–1930. New York: R.R. Bowker Company. p. 622. OCLC 664500075.
  3. ^ "Among the 'Independents'". The Film Daily. January 11, 1923. p. 7.
  4. ^ a b Motion Picture News Booking Guide. 5. New York: Motion Picture News. October 1923. p. 42.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Oriental Drama That Will Be Good For Some Box Offices". The Film Daily. April 15, 1923. p. 18.
  6. ^ "Brevoort". Brooklyn Life. Brooklyn, New York. May 5, 1923. p. 14.
  7. ^ "Purple Dawn / Charles R Seeling [motion picture]". Library of Congress.
  8. ^ Love 1977, p. 78
  9. ^ "Seeling Finishes 'The Purple Dawn'". Moving Picture World. October 21, 1922. p. 684.
  10. ^ "Edwin Zunn". Camera!. Vol. 5 no. 33. November 25, 1922. p. 40.
  11. ^ "Pictures". Variety. May 17, 1923. p. 26.
  12. ^ Ferri, Roger (November 11, 1922). Sewell, Charles S. (ed.). "Newest Reviews and Comments". Moving Picture World. p. 184.
Works cited
  • Love, Bessie (1977). From Hollywood with Love: An Autobiography of Bessie Love. London: Elm Tree Books. OCLC 734075937.

External linksEdit