Confessions of an Opium Eater

Overview

Very freely based upon the book by Thomas DeQuincey, Confessions of an Opium Eater is set in San Francisco during the Tong Wars of the 1800s. Lotus is one of a group of women kidnapped from China and brought to the United States, where they are to be traded in exchange for precious opium. Fortunately, Lotus and her compatriots are rescued by mysterious benefactors and are spirited away. Soon after, DeQuincey sneaks into Chinatown and contacts a merchant by the name of Chin Foon. Both men share the mark of the ...
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Overview

Very freely based upon the book by Thomas DeQuincey, Confessions of an Opium Eater is set in San Francisco during the Tong Wars of the 1800s. Lotus is one of a group of women kidnapped from China and brought to the United States, where they are to be traded in exchange for precious opium. Fortunately, Lotus and her compatriots are rescued by mysterious benefactors and are spirited away. Soon after, DeQuincey sneaks into Chinatown and contacts a merchant by the name of Chin Foon. Both men share the mark of the Moon Serpent, signifying that they work for the enigmatic Ling Tang, who is the mastermind behind the human auctions. Foon instructs DeQuincey to locate Lotus. He finds her but tries to escape with her, rather than handing her over to Foon. His treachery is discovered, and he admits that he is working for both sides in the Tong conflict. He escapes and, stumbling through the bowels of Chinatown, discovers many other bizarre secrets. He also learns that another of Tang's employees, Ruby Low, is not as loyal as supposed. DeQuincey continues prowling around Chinatown; obviously, he has some sort of plan in mind ' but what is it? And who is he really working for?
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Confessions of an Opium Eater could hardly be called a good movie -- and yet it is enormously fascinating. Make no mistake -- Confessions is overblown, muddled, and bizarre. Many of its characters are offensively stereotyped, and the dialogue alters between fortune cookie aphorisms and shallow philosophical ramblings. The plot is drawn from pulp fiction, and the direction is helter-skelter. But in spite of all this, Confessions is a hard film to take one's eyes off of, and it's filled with memorable moments. Albert Zugsmith's direction is often heavy-handed and frequently confusing, yet it carries with it a tremendous degree of commitment; the viewer may not really know what Zugsmith has in mind, but Zugsmith does, and he seems quite pleased with it. This keeps Confessions from being boring, even (paradoxically) when it's dragging its feet a little. And when it isn't dragging, it has a feverish dream quality to it that is always interesting, sometimes arresting. There are even a few minutes that are genuinely good, most notably the five-minute silent, slow-motion chase sequence. Confessions also features a number of moments and images that make a strong impression, from the floating cages to the crocodile's mouth that transforms into Linda Ho. The cast, with Vincent Price in the lead, are perfectly in tune with the direction; it may not be great acting, but it's precisely what is called for. Confessions of an Opium Eater may not be a good movie, but its hallucinatory weirdness makes it a fascinating experience.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/25/2012
  • UPC: 883316636732
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Full Frame
  • Time: 1:25:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 27,272

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Philip Ahn Ching Foon
Ralph Ahn Wah Chan
Vincent Barbi Captain
Terence de Marney Scrawny Man
Linda Ho Ruby Low
June Kim Lotus
Richard Loo George Wah
Yvonne Moray Child
Carol Russell Slave Girl
Arthur Wong Kwai Tong
Victor Sen Yung Wing Young
Eleanor Boardman Small-town Girl
Florence Vidor Herself
King Vidor Himself
Gerald Jann Fat Chinese
John Mamo Auctioneer
Alicia Li Ping Toy
Keiko Dancing Girl
Vincent Price DeQuincey
Technical Credits
Albert Zugsmith Director, Producer
Joseph Biroc Cinematographer
Edward A. Curtiss Editor
Robert S. Eisen Editor
Albert Glasser Score Composer
John Gregory Choreography
Robert J. Hill Screenwriter
Joseph Kish Set Decoration/Design
Roy Livingston Editor
Eugène Lourié Art Director
Seton Miller Screenwriter
Edward Morey Jr. Production Designer
Milt Olsen Special Effects
William Turner Makeup
Marvin Willens Stunts
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