IMDb > China Seas (1935)
China Seas
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China Seas (1935) More at IMDbPro »

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China Seas -- Trailer for this tale from the east starring Clark Gable

Overview

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7.0/10   1,310 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Jules Furthman (screen play) and
James Kevin McGuinness (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for China Seas on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 August 1935 (USA) See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Nothing Ever Happens on a Steamer in the China Seas See more (25 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Clark Gable ... Alan Gaskell

Jean Harlow ... China Doll

Wallace Beery ... Jamesy MacArdle
Lewis Stone ... Davids

Rosalind Russell ... Sybil
Dudley Digges ... Dawson

C. Aubrey Smith ... 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

Akim Tamiroff ... Romanoff
Ivan Lebedeff ... Ngah
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry C. Bradley ... (scenes deleted)
Charles Coleman ... (scenes deleted)
Edward McWade ... (scenes deleted)
Daisy Belmore ... Martha, Sybil's Maid (uncredited)
Barlowe Borland ... Willett, Royal Canada Bank (uncredited)
Emily Fitzroy ... Mrs. Higgins (uncredited)

Pat Flaherty ... Second Officer Kingston (uncredited)
Willie Fung ... Cabin Boy Ah Sing (uncredited)
Chester Gan ... Rickshaw Boy (uncredited)
Tom Gubbins ... Ship's Officer / Sergeant of the Guards (uncredited)
Forrester Harvey ... Chief Steward Ted Gary (uncredited)
John Ince ... Ship's Pilot (uncredited)
Charles Irwin ... Bertie the Purser (uncredited)
Tetsu Komai ... Malay Pirate (uncredited)
Eddie Lee ... Sailor on Bridge (uncredited)
Richard Loo ... Chinese inspector at gangplank (uncredited)

Hattie McDaniel ... Isabel McCarthy, Dolly's Maid (uncredited)
Malcolm McGregor ... Atkins, Dock Manager (uncredited)

Donald Meek ... Passenger Playing Chess (uncredited)
Ferdinand Munier ... Police Superintendent (uncredited)
Beatrice Roberts ... Ship's Passenger (uncredited)
James Wang ... Trapshooting Attendant (uncredited)
Bobby Watson ... Man on Dock with McCaleb (uncredited)

Directed by
Tay Garnett 
 
Writing credits
Jules Furthman (screen play) and
James Kevin McGuinness (screen play)

Crosbie Garstin (from the book by)

Paul Bern  contributor to story (uncredited)
Paul Hervey Fox  contributor to dialogue (uncredited)
Monckton Hoffe  early script writer (uncredited)
John Lee Mahin  contributor to screenplay construction (uncredited)
Maurice Revnes  early script writer (uncredited)

Produced by
Albert Lewin .... associate producer
Irving Thalberg .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Herbert Stothart 
 
Cinematography by
Ray June (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
William LeVanway (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
 
Production Management
Joe Cohn .... production manager (uncredited)
Frank Messenger .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Harold S. Bucquet .... second unit director: mob scenes (uncredited)
James C. McKay .... second unit director: night water scenes (uncredited)
Joseph M. Newman .... assistant director (uncredited)
William A. Wellman .... second unit director: pirate scenes (uncredited)
 
Art Department
James Curtis Havens .... associate art director (as James Havens)
David Townsend .... associate art director
Edwin B. Willis .... associate art director
Elmer Sheeley .... assistant to art director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
 
Special Effects by
Warren Newcombe .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
James Basevi .... miniatures (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Clyde De Vinna .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Ellsworth Fredericks .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Ray Ramsey .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Charles Maxwell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Jack Virgil .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Chick Collins .... double: Clark Gable (uncredited)
Loretta Rush .... double: Jean Harlow (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
87 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #899) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

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: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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Bhowani Junction (1956)See more »
Soundtrack:
On the Road To MandalaySee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
Nothing Ever Happens on a Steamer in the China Seas, 24 October 2005
Author: theowinthrop from United States

The studios in the "Golden Age" of films loved to stick to successful formulas that worked for their actors and directors. Just go down the list of performers that you can recall: A fine actor like Basil Rathbone is either the heavy or villain, or Sherlock Holmes (but not, as he wished, Rhett Butler). Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich could not play normal housewives, nor could Joan Crawford play a stupid woman. Oliver Hardy could always have a wife, but never a happy marriage (and if it approached happiness, Stan Laurel would help destroy that). Lewis Stone, sterling character actor, only achieved permanent stardom when he inherited the role of Judge Hardy from Lionel Barrymore, and he would remain the perfect, wise father to Mickey Rooney in a dozen films. As for Barrymore, while he had a higher degree of stardom than Stone, he fell nicely into a niche as the original Dr. Leonard Gilespie, opposite Lew Ayres as Dr. Kildare.

In 1932 MGM got the bright idea of making a dramatic film of Vicki Baum's "Grand Hotel" with an all star cast (John and Lionel Barrymore, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Jean Hersholt, and Tully Marshall). The film won the best picture Oscar, so it became a standard for other MGM projects to copy. The best known is "Dinner At Eight" (both Barrymore brothers again, Beery again, Jean Harlow, Marie Dressler, Billy Burke, Edmund Lowe, Lee Tracy, Hersholt again). But "David Copperfield", "The Prisoner OF Zenda", and several other Selznick films, and "The Women" (with only a cast of actresses - Crawford, Shearer, Russell, Fontaine, Goddard, and Boland) followed the same formula with variants by the settings and plots of the films.

"China Seas" was an early example of the formula "all star" film, a "Grand Hotel" set at sea. The plot is varied: C. Aubrey Smith is having a cargo of gold shipped by his ship captained by Gable. The passengers include Harlow (who has had a long standing on-again, off-again romance with Gable), Russell (Gable's current love interest - a real English lady type), Beery (an untrustworthy gambler and thief - he may be planning to steal the gold), Robert Benchley (an American novelist on a permanent toot), Edward Brophy and Lillian Bond as a married couple on a tour (Ms Bond has her secrets from her husband), Akim Tamiroff (a man who knows how to take advantage of secrets), Dudley Digges (a self-satisfied and smug chief executive officer), and Lewis Stone (a former sea captain, now reduced in rank and a pariah due to an act of cowardice).

The film is a lively mixture of comedy and tragedy, including the death of one of the villains. Harlow demonstrates an interesting way of playing cards and drinking that suggests more than the film shows. Benchley never appears clear eyed and sober throughout all the film. Stone, in a powerful moment, leaves the self-righteous Digges with a permanent black mark on his self-esteem. Gable and Beery show what the "boot" is, and how effective it is. This is a film where the activities of the cast are so involving you never get bored even when you see the film another time. And at the end, as the ship reaches port (as in "Grand Hotel"), life goes on as though nothing (including a pirate attack) ever even occurred.

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