“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

When Shanghai Boo-ed Harold Lloyd

Posted: May 31st, 2018 | 2 Comments »

Silent-era comedy star Harold Lloyd’s first talkie Welcome Danger in 1930 was partly set in San Francisco’s Chinatown and featured some very negative portrayals of Chinese people which resulted in loud booing in Shanghai cinemas. This audience outrage, which the Shanghai Municipal Police reported almost turned violent, led to a change in policy in the Settlement. Whereas before the Nationalist government censors in Nanking had been able to censor and ban movies within the Chinese-controlled portions of Shanghai they had not been able to influence screenings within the foreign concessions. However, the Shanghai Municipal Police, concerned with public security (and at the urging of cinema managers fearing a boycott by Chinese patrons), agreed to liaise with the Nanking censors and potentially follow their lead on banning films. Welcome Danger was withdrawn after a short run in the Settlement and an apology issued to Chinese patrons by cinema managers.



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2 Comments on “When Shanghai Boo-ed Harold Lloyd”

  1. 1 Bee said at 5:47 pm on May 31st, 2018:

    Paul, how to i subscribe to the @chinarhyming blog?
    Recvd CofD in the post from HK – really loving it :)

  2. 2 Paul French said at 4:02 pm on June 6th, 2018:

    I don’t think you can – you just have to pop back every so often….thanks for your kind words re CoD

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