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

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Overview

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7.2/10   2,120 votes »
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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:
Unique Capra film See more (50 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Barbara Stanwyck ... Megan Davis

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

Walter Connolly ... Jones
Gavin Gordon ... Dr. Robert 'Bob' Strike
Lucien Littlefield ... Mr. Jacobson
Richard Loo ... Capt. 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 (story)

Edward E. Paramore Jr. (screenplay) (as Edward Paramore)

Produced by
Frank Capra .... producer
Walter Wanger .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
W. Franke Harling  (as W. Frank Harling)
 
Cinematography by
Joseph Walker (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Edward Curtiss  (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


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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:
Chinese officials in Washington, D.C. complained about the depiction of the treatment of war prisoners in this film (which were toned down a bit) and some dehumanizing language about the Chinese people, such as "Human life is the cheapest thing in China," (which remains in the film).See more »
Quotes:
General Yen:Conquest of a province, or the conquest of a woman... What's the difference?See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Frank Capra's American Dream (1997) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Onward Christian SoldiersSee more »

FAQ

Is 'The Bitter Tea of General Yen' based on a book?
How did Mah-Li find out about the plan to move Yen's money on the train?
What is 'The Bitter Tea of General Yen' about?
See more »
19 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Unique Capra film, 22 February 2007
Author: FERNANDO SILVA from Santiago de Chile.

Unusual, strange, interesting, intriguing, offbeat, surreal, unique film… so atypical of Capra's acknowledged style, that one truly regrets that he never made a film of this sort afterwards in his career.

For sure, a product of the more permissive Pre-Code era (1930-1934), it couldn't have been filmed under the Production Code's strict rules; the only suggestion of miscegenation would have risen too many brows during its enforcement.

I must say, though, that I have the impression that I saw an edited or censored version of the official release, since the DVD I watched is of British origin (it's not yet available on DVD in the USA) and apparently the out-of-print VHS American edition, is 5 or 6 minutes longer. Well, it shouldn't surprise me since this film was banned in England for many years (reportedly for its miscegenation subject, a delicate matter for the British Empire in those years).

This fantastic tale of a Chinese Warlord's (Nils Asther) infatuation with an American Woman (Stanwyck), who's engaged to a missionary, is charged with sensuality, erotic imagery and sexual tension (by early 1930s standards) between the two leading players.

Asther gives an intense, credible portrayal and is simply mesmerizing as the Warlord, in spite of the fact that he was actually Swedish. Stanwyck is aptly helpless, confused and vulnerable as the heroine. It's also a pleasure to see Walter Connolly in a different role, as an amoral "entrepreneur". Toshia Mori is deliciously evil as Asther's double-crossing mistress.

This film demonstrates that the Occidentals, at least up to that time, still did not fully appreciate and understand Oriental Cultures, dismissing its people as cruel and savage.

Beautiful sets and décors.

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