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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 <email@example.com>
China Seas isn't a profound or lasting classic, but it is a rip-roaring example of just how entertaining the studio system could be at its best during the Golden Age, as Clark Gable battles typhoons, Malay pirates with big feet and the differing charms of Jean Harlow and Rosalind Russell while Wallace Beery plots to steal his cargo and a blotto Robert Benchley bobs along dispensing non-sequiters to all and sundry. At heart it's just a post-Code Red Dust on the Hong Kong-Shanghai run, Harlow's distinctly not at her best rehashing her brassy platinum blonde act for the umpteenth time and Russell is more affected than alluring, but Tay Garnett keeps it moving so fast that it doesn't matter. Great entertainment with all the stops pulled out.
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