From pioneering filmmaker Dorothy Davenport Reid, a ripped-from-the-headlines shocker about a woman forced into a life of prostitution whose trial for killing her pimp became a tabloid sensation.
New digital restoration! The Red Kimona was the result of an extraordinary collaboration between three important women: Adela Rogers St. John, Dorothy Arzner (who wrote the story) and Dorothy Davenport Reid, who co-directed and produced. While St. John and Arzner became better known over the years, it is the unjustly neglected Reid who brought THE RED KIMONA to the screen. Writer, producer, director, and actress Davenport Reid made a splash in the 1920s with a string of socially conscious, taboo-shattering exposés, including this ripped-from-the-headlines shocker about a woman forced into a life of prostitution. Davenport herself said: "I believe it takes a woman to believe in a woman's motives, and every story intended for the screen should have a woman working on it at some stage to convince the audience of women." The Red Kimona is based on the infamous true story of Gabrielle Darley, who was tricked into a life of prostitution and put on trial for the murder of her pimp/lover. Gabrielle (Priscilla Bonner) is a young woman who's swept off her feet by a handsome stranger, who abandons her in New Orleans's red-light district. After she sees him buying an engagement ring for another woman, she shoots him. When the story of her trial becomes infamous, Gabrielle finds herself befriended by a rich socialite with motives of her own. Davenport Reid directed or produced several films into the early thirties, after which she became a successful writer and production assistant working in Hollywood through the fifties. (USA, 1925, 77 Mins, NR, Silent with English Intertitles | Dir. Walter Lang & Dorothy Davenport Reid)
Ben Model is one of America's leading silent film accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silent
films at the New York MoMA since 1984, and the CAC since 2006.