AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Madame Butterfly
Director: Sidney Olcott (Dir)
Release Date:   8 Nov 1915
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Cast: Mary Pickford  (Cho-Cho-San)
  Olive West  (Suzuki)
  Jane Hall  (Adelaide)
 

Summary: Japanese maiden Cho-Cho-San is courted by the dashing American officer Lieutenant Pinkerton and, in a traditional Oriental ceremony, marries him. Never taking his Eastern wedding vows seriously, Pinkerton leaves Japan and his "Madame Butterfly" after a few weeks to rejoin his ship, telling his bride he will return in the spring. The faithful, trusting Cho-Cho-San waits for Pinkerton in her mountain cabin with their newly born child, but the spring passes with no sign of the lieutenant. Shunned by her proud Samurai family, Cho-Cho-San persists in her lonely vigil, rejecting even the proposals of Yamadori, a wealthy Americanized Japanese. Finally Pinkerton returns, but accompanying him is Adelaide, his new American wife. When Adelaide learns the truth about Cho-Cho-San and her baby, she insists on bringing up the child herself, an offer Cho-Cho-San feels compelled to accept. Before handing over the child, Cho-Cho-San commits suicide, dying happily in the lieutenant's arms, at last reunited with her beloved. 

Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.
Production Company: Famous Players Film Co.
Director: Sidney Olcott (Dir)
Producer: Daniel Frohman (Pres)

Subject Major: Desertion (Marital)
  Fidelity
  Japan
  Marriage--Mixed
 
Subject Minor: Adoption
  Americans in foreign countries
  Brides
  Samurai
  Suicide
  United States. Navy
  Weddings

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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