South West Silents presents: Piccadilly & Neil Brand's Beginner's Guide to Silent Cinema

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The Curzon has teamed up with South West Silents to bring you a dazzling slice of tremendous 1920's cinema.

The Chinese-American screen goddess Anna May Wong stars as Shosho, a scullery maid in a fashionable London nightclub whose sensuous tabletop dance catches the eye of suave club owner Valentine Wilmot. She rises to become the toast of London and the object of his erotic obsession – to the bitter jealousy of Mabel, his former lover and star dancer (played by Ziegfeld Follies star Gilda Gray).

Piccadilly has been beautifully restored by the BFI National Film & Television Archive, complete with amber and blue tinting copied from an original 1929 silent release print and a fantastic new re-score of the film from Neil Brand.

This stylish evocation of Jazz Age London, directed by the German émigré EA Dupont, boasts the dazzling cinematography of Werner Brandes and atmospheric sets by Alfred Junge – ranging from the opulent West End nightclub (actually filmed in Piccadilly’s Caf de Paris) to seedy Limehouse. Charles Laughton has a cameo role, making one of his first screen appearances as a greedy nightclub diner.

Piccadilly was a star vehicle for Anna May Wong, the first Asian-American star and one of the first non-white actors to gain international celebrity. Best known for her role as Marlene Dietrich’s sultry sidekick in Shanghai Express, Wong’s career was stymied by racial stereotyping. Until recently all but forgotten, she now seems poised for rediscovery.

Piccadilly is currently exclusively available through the Curzon. Available to watch until the 17th May.


The Curzon urgently needs to raise £70,000 to re-open the balcony with comfortable seating, improved sound & lighting, new toilets and a mini bar. Increasing seat capacity will help offset the devastating financial impact of Covid-19. Reinstating this beautiful community asset can help safeguard the Curzon’s future and give us all something to celebrate. A huge thank you to any one who is able to donate to the Curzon at this time.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    108 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United Kingdom
  • Rating
  • Director
    E. A. Dupont
  • Screenwriter
    Arnold Bennett
  • Cast
    Anna May Wong