A recurring theme in mid-1920s movies was that of criticizing the growing control of China's domestic economy by foreigners, and attacking collaborating businessmen or government officials who turned a blind eye. There were at least four films on this topic in 1924 alone, and we have already discussed three of them from that year: 《Patriotic Umbrella》,《A Gallant Young Man》and《Righteousness Above Family》. Like the latter two films, this one also honors young patriots who put their loyalty to the nation above traditional Confucian filial piety. It is also noteworthy that the heroine of the story, the spoiled and headstrong daughter of a powerful man, was played by Yang Naimei, a rich man's spoiled daughter in real life.
You Hun (1924) 诱婚 (Lured Into Marriage)
alternate title: Aiqing yu Xurong (1924) 爱情与虚荣 (Love and Vanity)
Mingxing. B&W. Silent. 12 reels. Direction: Zhang Shichuan. Screenplay: Zhou Jianyun. Cinematography: Wang Xuchang, Dong Keyi. Cast: Zheng Zhengqiu (Gao Zemin), Maxu Weibang (Shi Feicheng), Huang Junfu (Xiao Liu, the naive servant), Yang Naimei (Gao Yunying), Ying Bichen (Gao's wife), Zheng Zhegu (banquet guest), Wang Xianzhai (Xiong the celebrity).
[left, Yang Naimei]
When wealthy Song Jianxi applies to sell his oil fields to a foreign nation, Gao Zemin, president of the local council, denies him the required permit. The two older men had been good friends, but have a falling out over the proposed sale. When his plan is stymied, Song hatches a scheme to overcome this by courting Zemin's beloved daughter Yunying, beginning with sending her gold and silver jewelry. Yunying has a boyfriend, her cousin Shi Feicheng, but the wealthy man's gifts and attentions turn her head, so she agrees his marriage proposal, despite the couple's considerable age difference and her father's objections. After the wedding, Yunying complies with her groom's requests and begins persuading her father to change his mind about the oil field sale. After many years of catering to his daughter's every request, Zemin can't turn her down and reluctantly signs the permit. But after the news leaks out, the public outrage results in Gao Zemin being detained for questioning. He is released for lack of evidence there was any criminal wrongdoing in his turnabout on the matter, that it was probably just mistaken judgement. Song Jianxi, fearful that his wife will be questioned and might expose his own role in the affair, hides Yunying in a secret chamber in his mansion, telling her it is for her protection. But in that chamber Yunying discovers considerable evidence documenting her father's earlier, treasonous activities. With the help of Shi Feicheng, she escapes, taking the evidence to the authorities which results in the re-arrest of Gao Zemin and the arrest of Song Jianxi.