IMDb > The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933)
The Bitter Tea of General Yen
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 10 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   2,192 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Grace Zaring Stone (from the story by)
Edward E. Paramore Jr. (screen play)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Bitter Tea of General Yen on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 January 1933 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
They found a love they dared not touch!
Plot:
A Chinese warlord and an engaged Christian missionary fall in love. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Without sugar See more (50 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Barbara Stanwyck ... Megan

Nils Asther ... General Yen
Toshia Mori ... Mah-Li

Walter Connolly ... Jones
Gavin Gordon ... Bob
Lucien Littlefield ... Mr. Jacobson
Richard Loo ... Captain Li

Helen Jerome Eddy ... Miss Reed
Emmett Corrigan ... Bishop Harkness
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jessie Arnold ... Mrs. Blake (uncredited)
Clara Blandick ... Mrs. Jackson (uncredited)
Robert Bolder ... Missionary (uncredited)
Nora Cecil ... Missionary (uncredited)
Wong Chung ... Chinese Officer (uncredited)
Knute Erickson ... Dr. Hansen (uncredited)
Willie Fung ... Officer (uncredited)
Adda Gleason ... Mrs. Bowman (uncredited)
Ella Hall ... Mrs. Amelia Hansen (uncredited)
Daisy Jefferson ... Mrs. Warden (uncredited)
Arthur Johnson ... Dr. Schuler (uncredited)
Tetsu Komai ... Gen. Yen's Messenger (uncredited)
Eddie Lee ... Chinese Soldier (uncredited)
Milton Lee ... Telegrapher (uncredited)
Lillian Leighton ... Missionary (uncredited)
Harriet Lorraine ... Missionary (uncredited)
Doris Louellyn ... Mrs. Meigs (uncredited)
Martha Mattox ... Miss Avery (uncredited)
Arthur Millett ... Mr. Pettis (uncredited)
Moy Ming ... Dr. Lin (uncredited)
Miller Newman ... Dr. Mott (uncredited)
Robert Wayne ... Rev. Bostwick (uncredited)
Ray Young ... Engineer (uncredited)

Directed by
Frank Capra  (as Frank R. Capra)
 
Writing credits
Grace Zaring Stone (from the story by)

Edward E. Paramore Jr. (screen play) (as Edward Paramore)

Produced by
Frank Capra .... producer (uncredited)
Walter Wanger .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
W. Franke Harling (musical score) (as W. Frank Harling)
 
Cinematography by
Joseph Walker (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Edward Curtiss (film editor) (as Edward Curtis)
 
Costume Design by
Robert Kalloch (uncredited)
Edward Stevenson (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Norbert A. Myles .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles C. Coleman .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Edward Bernds .... sound engineer (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Harry Cohn .... president: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Gene Lewis .... dialogue director (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
88 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:
South Korea:15 (2007) | USA:Approved | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Swedish actor Nils Asther played General Yen. Asian actors were never cast in lead roles in American productions at the time. Although multilingual, Asther did not speak Mandarin. However, he did use a Mandarin dialect for the part.See more »
Quotes:
Jones:Now, Miss Davis, maybe you think I acted pretty rotten tonight, but I know what I'm talking about. Mah-Li's not your kind: she's just a conniving little dame who deserves every bit that's coming to her.
Megan Davis:Including murder, I suppose?
Jones:Now, you let the General be the judge of that. He runs his own show out here with about 50 centuries of authority back of him. You missionaries come out here and expect to convert 500 million people overnight. Heh! Why, changing a leopard's spots is duck soup compared to changing China. You know, you're lucky to be alive out here yourself. Now you go back to your room, go to bed and behave.
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Onward Christian SoldiersSee more »

FAQ

How did Mah-Li find out about the plan to move Yen's money on the train?
Was Megan in love with Yen?
Is 'The Bitter Tea of General Yen' based on a book?
See more »
42 out of 60 people found the following review useful.
Without sugar, 25 March 2005
Author: Gary170459 from Derby, UK

Bitter Tea is one of my favourite Capra films, the earliest one I would call that "much over-worked phrase", a classic. I don't know if the original story was much different, but even being pre-Code this film would be shot much differently nowadays - unfortunately, of course! It appears to be just as hung up about love between the races as any other Golden Age movie was, except the tale's conclusion is more open to interpretation and franker in its portrayal. But even that was spoiled by Walter Connolly's Jerry Springer type moral ramblings at the end as solace for any outraged whites.

It's a murky, atmospheric, lustrous (in the romantic arc-light), absorbing 83 minute journey through a rather horrible world, populated by semi human beings - naturally Western wars are so much more civilised affairs. Throughout Stanwyck does her best and looks her best too, no wonder Gen Yen fell for her! I hope modern Scandanavians don't feel too humiliated by Nils Asther playing a Chinaman though (& v.v.) As a non practising Christian I didn't take offence at the criticism levelled at Christianity's manifold moral ambiguities - but enough of all that!

A wonderful film to sink into every few years not only for the story but also the gleaming photography, the visual composition of the scene near the end where Yen is brewing the tea of the title is so achingly beautiful that it brings the tears to my eyes as I think about it! But remember it was made in 1932 so if you don't like shiny charming creakers it's probably not your cup of tea.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (50 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Is the erotic dream opium induced? sbleboff-163-707319
Confused cattcarn
The tea (SPOILERS) BlackVelvetGlove
FSILVA xxchrom
a missionary who smokes? houstonviamexico
Has this film been remade? emuir-1
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Australia Downfall Gone with the Wind The English Patient The Painted Veil
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.