To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
Show all languages
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Java Head (1934 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Java Head
Film Poster
Directed byJ. Walter Ruben
Thorold Dickinson (uncredited)
Carol Reed (assistant director)
Written byGordon Wellesley
Martin Brown
Based onJava Head
by Joseph Hergesheimer
Produced byBasil Dean
StarringAnna May Wong
Elizabeth Allan
Ralph Richardson
John Loder
CinematographyRobert Martin
Edited byThorold Dickinson
David Lean (uncredited)
Music byErnest Irving
Distributed byABFD
Release date
August 1934
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Java Head is a 1934 British historical drama film directed by J. Walter Ruben and an uncredited Thorold Dickinson. It stars Anna May Wong, Elizabeth Allan and Ralph Richardson.[1]


The film is set mostly in the seaport of Bristol, England, in the years 1848-50. Captain Jeremy Ammidon is the founder of the shipping line Ammidon & Sons, and lives with his family in his house “Java Head”, named after the Java promontory. His elder, land-based son William runs the company day-to-day, and wants to upgrade the fleet from slow sailing ships to fast clippers and steamships, and to carry contraband, all against his father’s wishes. Captain Ammidon’s younger, seafaring, son Gerrit is friends with Nettie Vollar. Nettie secretly loves Gerrit but her strict and religious grandfather, who has had a 20-year quarrel with his old shipmate Captain Ammidon, disapproves of any deeper friendship between Nettie and Gerrit.

Gerrit leaves on a commercial voyage and spends a year sailing round the world, taking weeks longer than other ships. He returns with a new bride, the beautiful Taou Yuen, who is the daughter of a Manchu prince.[a] The Ammidon family are shocked and the conservative local townspeople are scandalised, exchanging gossip about Gerrit returning with “a heathen Chinese! From China!” Churchgoers look on aghast when she attends Sunday service in traditional Chinese dress, although the vicar is more welcoming and explains he has studied the teachings of Confucius. Although the Ammidons are initially as hostile as their friends and neighbours, the women in the family warm to Taou Yuen’s grace and nobility. Taou Yuen fears she is pursued by an evil spirit. She also tells Gerrit that “Unless I make you happy, I have no right to live.”

Time passes, and Gerrit wants to return to sea. He shows signs of dissatisfaction with his marriage to his exotic wife, and is concerned about leaving her alone while he is away. He starts to pay attention to Nettie, feeling sorry for her and her family’s deteriorating business position.

Without consulting Captain Ammidon or Gerrit, William orders four clipper ships and two steam packets. Captain Ammidon is initially interested in the details, but he then discovers that William has also been using the family’s ships to transport opium. Captain Ammidon is appalled and dies from shock. Gerrit decides he no longer wants to be part of the firm but to sell up and take one ship to start a new business in the Far East. He is also annoyed by Taou Yuen’s mourning ceremonies and her attitude towards death, which he does not understand.

Gerrit and Nettie declare their love for each other, but Gerrit says he must leave her as he already has a wife. Taou Yuen realises that her husband loves another woman, and that there cannot be two loves in his life. She visits Nettie and, as she is about to garrotte her to death, she is disturbed. Taou Yuen poisons herself with opium and dies.

Gerrit sails away with Nettie to their new life together.



The film is riddled with mixed messages. Most of the film seems to be a revisionist historical drama attacking bourgeois and religious hypocrisy and, especially, racism. The story also shows the clash between traditional values (Jeremy) and modern greed (William).

However, the behaviour of Nettie’s uncle Edward (who lusts after Taou Yuen) implies that Chinese culture is a kind of drug, similar to opium, which inflames the senses and stirs unnatural desires. The film, far from encouraging better understanding between East and West, seems to believe some things should stay separate.

The film’s greatest failing is that after sympathising with Taou Yuen’s position and emphasising her compassion, nobility and spirit, she inexplicably changes to become a caricatured Dragon Lady when she tries to murder Nettie. The closing scenes end things on a sour note that undoes almost all the positive aspects that came before.[2]


The screenplay was written by Gordon Wellesley and Carol Reed served as an assistant director.[3] The film is an adaptation of a novel by Joseph Hergesheimer of the same name. Its sets were designed by Edward Carrick. Thorold Dickinson gained his first directorial experience when he took over after J. Walter Ruben became ill and was unable to continue.[4]

A previous silent version was directed in 1923 by George Melford for Paramount Pictures. It starred Leatrice Joy. The silent version is considered a lost film.


The film has received critical acclaim from modern day critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 80% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 5 reviews.[5]


  1. ^ "Java Head". IMDb.
  2. ^ Pragasam, Andrew. "Java Head review". The Spinning Image. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Brown, Geoff. "Dickinson, Thorold (1903–1984)". BFI screenonline. Retrieved 5 February 2023.
  5. ^ "Java Head (1934)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 29 March 2022.


  1. ^ In reviews, Taou Yuen is often described as “Princess Taou Yuen”. However, in the film, she is described as the daughter of a Manchu prince, and the only person who describes her as a princess is Edward Dunsack, who is not reliable.

This page was last edited on 13 February 2023, at 14:18
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.