Picture Brides

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  • Passed
  • 1934
  • 1 hr 6 min
  • 5.8  (103)

Picture Brides is a 1934 romantic drama set in Hawaii, depicting the struggles of Japanese mail-order brides who travel to America to start a new life with men they have never met before. The film centers around four young women, each with their own reasons for leaving Japan and hoping for a better future in America. The leading lady, Kana (played by Dorothy Mackaill), is a strong-willed and determined young woman who dreams of finding love and prosperity in America. She heads to Hawaii with her friends and fellow brides, Alice (Dorothy Libaire), Lily (Helen Jerome Eddy), and Keiko (Rosita Marstini), where their futures are uncertain.

Upon reaching Hawaii, Kana and the other women face cultural and language barriers, but soon find themselves becoming more and more excited about their future in America. As they wait for their arranged marriages, the women explore the island and experience the beauty and excitement of Hawaii.

However, their hopes are soon dashed when they discover the men who were supposed to be their husbands are far from what they expected. Kana’s intended husband, Jimmy (Regis Toomey), is a drunken gambler with no job and no prospects. Undeterred, Kana takes over Jimmy’s failing pineapple plantation and works tirelessly to make it successful. She also tries to get Jimmy to change his ways, but he seems stubbornly resistant.

As Kana works to make her new life a success, her friends face their own challenges. Alice’s husband turns out to be a dangerous and abusive criminal, while Keiko and Lily face their own cultural struggles. Despite the ups and downs, Kana remains determined to make her life in America a success.

The film is a poignant exploration of the struggles and triumphs of immigrant life, specifically the experiences of Japanese women in America during the 1930s. It highlights the challenges faced by these women and the courage and determination they display to create a better life for themselves and their families.

Picture Brides is also notable for its strong performances by the leading cast, particularly Dorothy Mackaill as Kana. Her portrayal of a determined, independent heroine was groundbreaking at the time and remains a powerful and relevant depiction of female strength and resilience today.

Overall, Picture Brides is a heartfelt and moving drama that explores themes of love, ambition, and the search for a better life. It is a beautiful and thought-provoking film that resonates with audiences today and stands as a testament to the struggles and triumphs of immigrant communities throughout history.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 6 min
  • IMDB Rating
    5.8  (103)