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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7.1/10   2,462 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 23% 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:
Their Forbidden Love Wrecked an Empire! See more »
Plot:
A Chinese warlord and an engaged Christian missionary fall in love. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Without sugar See more (51 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)
 
Visual Effects by
Bridgid O'Donnell .... digital restoration artist (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:
This movie was the first to play at Manhattan's fabled showplace, Radio City Music Hall, beginning on January 11, 1933.See more »
Quotes:
Bob:I want a safe conduct pass to Chapei.
General Yen:What on earth to do you want to go there for? That's an inferno.
Bob:That's why I must go. Our orphanage is between the lines. The children are in danger. We've got to...
General Yen:Ohhh, orphans. What are they anyway? People without ancestors. Nobody. Please sit down, Doctor. I will get you a glass of wine.
Bob:General, you don't understand.
General Yen:Later on we will be entertained by some sing-song girls. Say, Doctor. Have never been curious about sing-song girls? Mmmm?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Slanted Screen (2006)See more »
Soundtrack:
Onward Christian SoldiersSee more »

FAQ

How does the movie end?
How did Mah-Li find out about the plan to move Yen's money on the train?
Was Megan in love with Yen?
See more »
42 out of 61 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.

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