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China Seas (1935)

Passed  -  Action | Drama | Adventure  -  16 August 1935 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,303 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 20 critic

When earthy Dolly Portland is rejected by Captain Gaskell in favor of a socialite, she aids Jamesy McCardle, in league with Malay pirates, in his plot to seize his ship.

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(screen play), (screen play), 6 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alan Gaskell
...
China Doll
...
Jamesy MacArdle
Lewis Stone ...
Davids
...
Sybil
Dudley Digges ...
Dawson
...
Sir Guy
Robert Benchley ...
McCaleb
William Henry ...
Rockwell
Liev De Maigret ...
Mrs. Vollberg (as Live de Maigret)
Lilian Bond ...
Mrs. Timmons (as Lillian Bond)
Edward Brophy ...
Timmons
Soo Yong ...
Yu-Lan
Carol Ann Beery ...
Carol Ann
...
Romanoff
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Storyline

Dynamic Alan Gaskell captains a ship bound from Hong Kong to Singapore. Gaskell tries to turn over a new leaf from his hard-drinking lifestyle after becoming attached to a refined high class English lady, Sybil Barclay. His former girlfriend Dolly is extremely jealous of the budding relationship and tries hard to get the Captain back. He is apparently unimpressed with her loud, obnoxious, and uncivilized manners, even though she is extremely beautiful. After a temporary take over of the ship by gold-seeking Asian pirates, Captain Gaskell must deal with the fact that Dolly and her drinking pal, Jamesey MacArdle, are implicated in the crime. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

captain | ship | pirate | english | hong kong | See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mares de China  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean Harlow wore a wig for this film. She had cut her hair shorter and was letting her natural color grow in. But for the scene where her character Dolly is soaked, the wig could not be used because it would look fake. Thus for a few seconds Harlow's hair is shorter and a different color. See more »

Quotes

Dolly 'China Doll' Portland: If I had a nickel's worth of pride, I'd...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Anita Takes a Chance (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Chopsticks
(1877) (uncredited)
Music by Euphemia Allen
Played on piano by Robert Benchley
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Harlow, Gable, and Beery at their best
20 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"When I want you to sound off, Golden Bell, I'll pull your rope"--Harlow to Yu-Lan in "China Seas." There's not another actor, alive or dead, who could make that line work, but Harlow finds both the obvious comedy and the hidden pathos in it. (The pathos stems from her realization that she's out of her league, and her fear that the others at the table are looking down their noses at her.)

She, Gable, and Wallace Beery, are perfectly cast here. Harlow is the sassy, brassy, slightly shady blonde who's impulsive and emotional, but who really wants to do the right thing. Gable is of course steady and solid, all man, in charge, unflappable, ironic, and irresistible. Beery is by turns roguish, charming, tough, and menacing.

Roz Russell does a fine job as an old flame of Clark's who shows up for the voyage. Her British accent holds up pretty well. Lewis Stone plays the cowardly 3rd Officer who is out to repair his reputation, a far cry from his future as Judge Hardy. And Robert Benchley does his familiar drunkard routine.

Besides being well-cast, the film is exciting, with tropical storms, piracy at sea, and complicated romances. The special effects are excellent for the era, and the pacing is lively. Really a fine film.


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