"The Peacock Fan" (1929)

Produced by Chesterfield Motion Picture Corp.
Directed by Phil Rosen
6 reels (5,387 feet)
Released August 1, 1929.
Cast: Lotus Long, Fuji Kishi, Wong Foo, Lucien Prival, Dorothy Dwan, Tom O'Brien, Rosemary Theby, Carlton King, Gladden James, David Findlay, James Wilcox, Fred Malatesta, Alice True, Spencer Bell, John Fowler.


"The Peacock Fan" is a Saturday afternoon mystery melodrama with an assortment of characters, collectors, Chinese, murder, infidelity, and the occult. The prologue shows the tragic history of a peacock fan which figured in a jealous Chinese husband's murder of his wife and her lover. In the story, the fan comes into the possession of a wealthy American curio collector who is mysteriously murdered. Then Dr. Chang Dorfman enters the scene to unravel the mystery, implicating a dozen people, and finally fastening the guilt on . . ."

Photoplay, 1929: "A quickie mystery melodrama that could only happen in the films. Tom 'Big Parade' O'Brien in it."

The Cast

Tom O'Brien received his first credit in 1914. He played in over 50 silent features and can be seen in (if you have better than average eyesight) "The Birth Of A Nation," "The Big Parade," "Square Deal Sanderson," "The Scarlet Car," "Winners of the Wilderness," and "Moby Dick." He was active in films until 1934. O'Brien's outstanding part was in "The Big Parade." Rough and boisterous, he played the part of Bull, the jovial Irishman who served drinks across the bar prior to joining the A.E.F. In France, he's the rough and blasphemous soldier. As Jim (John
Gilbert) is upstairs with Melisande (Renee Adoreé ) and a French family listening to letters that have come from French soldiers at the front, Bull is in the basement sampling the wines.

Dorothy Dwan's career began in 1922. She played the leading lady in comedies, dramas and westerns, but left the screen in 1930 with the coming of sound. She can be seen in "The Perfect Clown," "The Wizard Of Oz," "The Great K & A Train Robbery," and "The Fighting Legion."

Lucien Prival's first credits were in 192,6 and he was active in films until 1946 when he had a part in "The Falcon's Alibi." The only other film he can be seen in is "The Patent Leather Kid."

Italian born Fred Maladesta was an actor and director who entered the film industry about 1915 and made numerous action and western films during the silent era. Malatesta in Italian translates as "headache."

John Fowler had a stage background when he entered films in the early 20's, and his film credits are rather vague. He can be seen in "One Punch O'Day," "Ranson's Folly" and "The Fighting Legion."

Chesterfield Motion Picture Corp.

The Chesterfield Motion Picture Corporation was a low budget producer and was active from about 1925 to 1936. Films were originally shot on the Universal lot and in the thirties at what became Republic Pictures Corporation in Studio City.

Source: Spellbound In Darkness by George Pratt
The American Film Industry by Anthony Slide
Forty Years Of Screen Credits by John T. Weaver
"Remembering The Great Silents" by George Katchmer in Classic Images, vol 206.

copyright 2002 by John DeBartolo. All rights reserved.

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