|The Notorious White Flower of China|
The opening scene begins with the boarding of the Shanghai Express, a steam train en route from Beijing to Shanghai. Marlene Dietrich plays Shanghai Lily, a scarlet woman 'who makes a living by her wits along the China coast'. Anna Mae Wong plays Hui Fei, another coaster; Clive Brook is Lily's love interest (and quintessential stiff-upper-lipper), Captain Harvey, one whose love she lost when she tested it too harshly years previously. Other passengers on the train provide sympathy, snobbery and menace as the train rattles toward its final destination.
Pith Helmets: Why
Pith Helmets: When and How
|Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia in pith|
In later years the pith helmet was adapted for more modern settings, including use in World War I by several nations and eventually as the headgear of the British bobbies (called 'custodian helmets') - although here's where the pith helmet can get confused with another type of hat, the Pickelhaube (a Prussian spiked helmet). These later versions of the pith helmet were more streamlined, lacking the loft and volume of previous versions, but having a double-brim.
The Central Plains War
Links and Sources:
Pith helmet, Wikipedia
Aeschynomene aspera, Wikipedia
Custodian helmet, Wikipedia
Filming Shanghai Express, TCM
Central Plains War, Cultural China