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The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 6 January 1933 (USA)
A Chinese warlord and an engaged Christian missionary fall in love.

Director:

(as Frank R. Capra)

Writers:

(from the story by), (screen play) (as Edward Paramore)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Gen. Yen
...
Mah-Li
...
Jones
...
Bob
...
Mr. Jacobson
...
Capt. Li
...
Miss Reed
Emmett Corrigan ...
Bishop Harkness
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Storyline

The American missionary Megan Davis arrives in Shanghai during the Chinese Civil War to marry the missionary Dr. Robert Strife. However, Robert postpones their wedding to rescue some orphans in an orphanage in Chapei section that is burning in the middle of a battlefield. While returning to Shanghai with the children, they are separated in the crowd, Megan is hit in the head and knocked out, but is saved by General Yen and brought by train to his palace. As the days go by, the General's mistress Mah-Li becomes close to Megan and when she is accused of betrayal for giving classified information to the enemies, Megan asks for her life. The cruel General Yen falls in love for the naive and pure Megan and accepts her request to spare the life of Mah-Li against the will of his financial advisor Jones. Meanwhile Megan feels attracted by the powerful and gentle General Yen, but resists to his flirtation. When Mah-Li betrays General Yen and destroys his empire, Megan realizes that to be able ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They found a love they dared not touch! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

6 January 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La amargura del general Yen  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chester Morris, Leo Carillo and Leslie Banks were all screen-tested, in full yellow-face makeup, for the title role of Gen. Yen. See more »

Quotes

Bishop Harkness: I've spent 50 years in China. And there are times when I think we're just a lot of persistent ants, trying to move a great mountain... Only last month, I learned a terrible lesson. I was telling the story of the Crucifixion to some Mongolian tribesmen. Finally, I... I thought I had touched their hearts. They crept closer to my little platform, their eyes burning with the wonder of their attention. Mongolian bandits, mind you - listening spellbound. But alas, I had misinterpreted their interest ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Onward Christian Soldiers
(1871) (uncredited)
Music from "St. Gertrude" by Arthur Sullivan (1871)
Lyrics by Sabine Baring-Gould (1865)
Sung by an unidentified quartet at the wedding
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Capra's most overlooked-and most brilliant- film.
3 May 1999 | by (warren michigan) – See all my reviews

For those who think that Frank Capra only produced "Capracorn'..well, think again. One reviewer dismisses this film as 'melodramatic'..it is, in fact, a subtle, powerful exploration of sexual politics, racism, and human passion.Stanwyck, and the almost forgotten Nils asther, ignite the screen. This film also shows another often overlooked side of Capra, his fascination with the Orient, especially China.


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