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The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933) Poster

Trivia

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Swedish actor Nils Asther played Gen. 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.
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This was the first movie to play at Manhattan's fabled showplace Radio City Music Hall, on January 11, 1933.
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Chinese embassy officials in Washington, DC, 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).
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The sets were reused for Columbia's One Night of Love (1934).
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The part of Mah-Li was intended for Anna May Wong before Toshia Mori was cast. Wong plays a similar role (a Chinese concubine) in Shanghai Express (1932).
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Almost immediately after this film wrapped, Barbara Stanwyck and her husband Frank Fay adopted their son, Dion Anthony Fay.
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Jessie Perry is in studio records/casting call lists playing "Miss Reid," but that role was played by Helen Jerome Eddy.
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The role of Megan Davis was originally supposed to go to Constance Cummings.
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Grace Zaring Stone--who wrote the novel the film was based on--and her husband and daughter were invited to visit the set on one day of filming. She later said she was impressed by the realism of the set but that the film was miscast and Barbara Stanwyck was all wrong for the part of Megan.
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The production utilized $200,000 worth of Chinese antiques and art objects as set decorations, $7,000 of that being spent on acquiring a bronze incense burner.
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The character Jones, played by Walter Connolly, was original called Schulz in the novel by Grace Zaring Stone.
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Herbert Brenon was originally hired to direct, but he was let go after missing meetings and butting heads with Columbia Pictures chief Harry Cohn. Frank Capra jumped on the project right away. Once Capra was assigned to direct, he made sure that Barbara Stanwyck got the role of Megan.
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Chester Morris, Leo Carillo and Leslie Banks were all screen-tested, in full yellow-face makeup, for the title role of Gen. Yen.
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The production schedule included 14 days of night shoots. Nils Asther and Barbara Stanwyck had trouble adjusting to the schedule, but Walter Connolly, who was an habitual night-owl, had no trouble at all.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

In the original script Gen. Yen decided at the last minute not to go through with his suicide. The finished film's ending, in which he does commit suicide, seems to have been written after Barbara Stanwyck was cast as Megan.
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