Valentine Wilmot, the owner of the popular Piccadilly Club finds his lead male attraction, Victor Smiles (Cyril Ritchard) has quit and that the public has judged Victor’s partner Mabel as over the hill. Though they are lovers, Valentine must find another dancer to replace Mabel or face an uncertain future. When a customer (Charles Laughton in his first feature film) complains of a dirty dish, Valentine discovers the answer to all his problems down in the club’s scullery…
After many years of supporting roles in Hollywood, Anna May Wong left for Europe in search of better roles. And did she find one. Her electric, sexually-charged performance in Piccadilly is a revelation. The camera adores her, and against Alfred Junge’s astonishing set design, her beauty glows in every frame. Piccadilly was the brilliant apex to Ewald André Dupont’s trilogy of backstage life (Varieté and Moulin Rouge), showcasing the director’s signature mix of great acting, amazing imagery and astonishing camera movements.
"It’s a bold, beautifully crafted, modern picture… one of the truly great films of the silent era"
Remastered by the BFI National Archive and presented in High Definition
Talk of the Town (2021): an in-depth interview with film critic, author and filmmaker Jasper Sharp on the life and career of Anna May Wong
Piccadilly: A Video Essay (2021): a newly recorded video essay by BFI curator and silent film expert Bryony Dixon
Cosmopolitan London (1924, 10 mins)
Neil Brand on composing for Piccadilly (2004, 20 mins): the composer discusses his score for the film
Prologue from the sound version of the film (5 mins)
Newly commissioned sleeve art by David Downton
**FIRST PRESSING ONLY** Fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film by BFI curator Bryony Dixon and an essay on the score by Neil Brand