Produced and co-written by Thomas H. Ince, The Wrath of the Gods (aka The Destruction of Sakura-Jima) was a major undertaking that included a shipwreck (filmed off the coast of Santa Monica) and an erupting volcano. The five-reel melodrama starred future director Frank Borzage, blond Gladys Brockwell, Japanese actress Tsuru Aoki, and, making his screen debut, Aoki's husband, Sessue Hayakawa. The latter was appearing in Los Angeles with a production of Walker Whiteside's +The Typhoon and Aoki easily convinced Ince to take him on. For his performance of a Samurai whose evil deeds bring on a curse that destroys his land, Hayakawa demanded and recieved 500 dollars weekly. Ince, always the showman, then announced Hayakawa to be "the highest paid of all Oriental stars." Sessue Hayakawa made his presence felt almost immediately and became a star with his own production of The Typhoon.
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