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China Seas (1935)

Passed | | Action, Drama, Adventure | 16 August 1935 (USA)
1:58 | Trailer

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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.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamesy MacArdle
Sir Guy
Mrs. Vollberg (as Live de Maigret)
Mrs. Timmons (as Lillian Bond)
Soo Yong ...
Carol Ann Beery ...
Carol Ann


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 re-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 takeover 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


A challenge to all screen history!


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 August 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mares de China  »

Box Office


$1,138,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the current 2016 price of gold, the shipment of 35,488.95 ounces would be worth almost $46.9M. The price of gold as indicated by the invoice shown is correct at the time of the film at roughly $35 per ounce. See more »


During the storm when Jamesy MacArdle grabs China Doll and swings her around in his room towards his dresser at about the 48 minute mark, her dress strap comes down revealing what appears to be her bare breast. She quickly lifts her strap and continues. See more »


Dolly 'China Doll' Portland: I'd like to be the first to wish you the best. You'll need it.
Captain Alan Gaskell: Someday you'll say something nice and never forgive yourself.
See more »


Referenced in El crimen del cine Oriente (1997) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Harlow, magnificent idiot
17 July 2008 | by (Vancouver,Canada) – See all my reviews

A pretty good movie with an excellent cast and some decent special effects. Gable is at his best and the same can be said for Beery , Sir C. and Harlow. I haven't seen many Harlow films but I'm assuming that her stock character is the one she portrays here , a sort of bad girl with a heart of gold, a lovable moron who speaks first and thinks later. The kind of woman who (if she were your wife/girlfriend) would ruin a party and make a big scene if she became jealous. In other words the kind of woman most men might stupidly have casual sex with and then realizing what an idiot they were saddled with, run away from as fast as they could. I'm guessing many depression era women could identify with her low class stubborn pride but now she seems like an annoying , shrill, infantile idiot constantly seeking approval. As a portrait of this kind of woman , Harlow is magnificent. You might want to strangle her or throw her overboard but she's always watchable, the bra less gowns help.

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