UC Berkeley Library

East Asians & East Asian Americans in Film

Bad Day at Black Rock (1954)

Directed by John Sturges. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan, John Ericson, Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin, Russell Collins, Walter Sande. "Bad Day at Black Rock is both a tightly-written, suspenseful, dramatic action film (with film noirish qualities) and a western. On the surface, this American film classic is concerned with the themes of individual integrity, group conformity and complacency, and civic responsibility.

Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)

Director, Justin Lin. Cast: Parry Shen, Jason Tobin, Sung Kang, Roger Fan, John Cho, Karin Anna Cheung, Jerry Mathers. Tells the story of a group of seemingly "perfect" Asian American high-school buddies who lead double lives. Ben is a perfectionist and overachiever engaged in a dizzying variety of school activities, volunteer work and the basketball team.

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Directed by John Carpenter. Cast: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong, Kate Burton, Donald Li, Carter Wong, Peter Kwong, James Pax. Jack Burton is a big-talking, wisecracking trucker who goes beneath the streets of San Francisco's Chinatown to battle an army of spirits when his friend's fiancee is kidnapped. 99 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Bird of Paradise (1932)

Directed by King Vidor. Cast: Dolores Del Rio, Joel McCrea, Richard "Skeets" Gallagher, Bert Roach, John Halliday, Lon Chaney Jr. (Creighton Chaney). South Seas romantic adventure. Western playboy Joel McCrea falls for native beauty (played by Delores Del Rio, a Latina actress). 80 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Reviews and articles:

Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932)

Directed by Frank Capra. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther, Toshia Mori, Walter Connolly, Lucien Littlefield, Richard Loo, Helen Jerome Eddy. An American missionary, Megan Davis, in attempting to rescue children from the brutality of China's Civil War, gets rescued/kidnapped by General Yen, a power hungry Chinese warlord. Eastern and Western philosophies collide, as do the characters. Megan wants to return to her fiance in Shanghai, but could it be that in spite of General Yen's heartless brutality, she's falling in love with him?

Black Widow (1947 serial)

Director, Spencer Gordon Bennet and Fred C. Brannon. Cast: Bruce Edwards, Virginia Lee, Joyce Winters, Carol Forman, Anthony Ward, Ramsay Ames. Madame Sombra (Carol Forman) wants to help her tyrannical father become emperor of Earth and will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. Under the guise of the treacherous Black Widow Gang, she embarks on a mission to steal America's top-secret atomic weapons. Luring her victims into her "web" disguised as a fortune-teller, Sombra the "Spider Woman" eliminates her enemies by injecting them with deadly spider venom.

Bombs Over Burma (1943)

Directed by Joseph H. Lewis. Cast: Anna May Wong, Noel Madison, Leslie Denison, Nedrick Young. The Burma Road must be kept open for Allied troop convoys during WWII at any cost by a brave crew. After a surprise attack, the group suspects a traitor is among them. The beautiful Lin Yang, a Chinese girl who teaches school by day and spies for the Allies by night, is assigned to find out who is responsible for the leaking information to the Japanese. 65 min.

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

Directed by Blake Edwards. Cast: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Mickey Rooney. Features Mickey Rooney doing one of the most egregiously horrible "comic" impersonations of an Asian (Mr. Yunioshi) in the history of movies. 114 min. Online Access through LFLFC ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie DatabasePhotograph from this video

Broken Blossoms or, The Yellow Man and the Girl (1919)

Directed by D.W. Griffith. Cast: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp. Adapted from the story: The Chink and the child. A peace-loving young Chinese man (played by white actor, Richard Richard Barthelmess) in a London slum befriends a young girl brutally mistreated by her own father. 71 min. Online Access through LFLFC and Kanopy; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Awards & Honors

Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips(1944)

Animated short. Directed by Friz Freleng. "Bugs lands on a Japanese-held island. He tries to outsmart one Japanese soldier by dressing as Emperor Hirohito, but the soldier isn't fooled. He recognizes Bugs from his Warner Brothers films produced by Leon Schlesinger. Bugs has trouble with a tough sumo wrestler but is able to outwit him by dressing as a geisha. Bugs finally rids the island of Japanese by driving up in his ice cream truck (which plays music from The Magic Flute!) and selling each one an ice cream with a secret grenade surprise." 8 min.