Up 27,126 this week

Oil for the Lamps of China (1935)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  8 June 1935 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 173 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

An American, working for his oil company in China, disregards all but the company's interests. " The characters and the institution portrayed in the story are not actual but the product of ... See full summary »



(by), (screen play)
0Check in

The 25 Most Immersive Worlds in Cinema

Highly immersive cinematic worlds can carry a movie, and we've rounded up the best of the best.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 162 titles
created 13 Mar 2013
list image
a list of 100 titles
created 14 Nov 2013
a list of 6726 titles
created 03 Dec 2013
a list of 343 titles
created 05 Apr 2014
a list of 77 titles
created 8 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Oil for the Lamps of China (1935)

Oil for the Lamps of China (1935) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Oil for the Lamps of China.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

China Clipper (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Dave Logan takes his regional Pan American airline and with vision and sometimes ruthless determination establishes pan-American and trans-Pacific routes.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Beverly Roberts
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A remake of Robert Montgomery's 1934 hit Hide-Out, this superb film directed by Robert B. Sinclair (known for his classic Broadway productions of The Philadelphia Story, Dodsworth and Pride... See full summary »

Director: Robert B. Sinclair
Stars: Robert Sterling, Marsha Hunt, Virginia Weidler
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Jerry North (William Post Jr.) and his wife, Pam (Gracie Allen)return home after a night away in a holiday spirit. The spirit soon vanishes when the body of a man falls out of the liquor ... See full summary »

Director: Robert B. Sinclair
Stars: Gracie Allen, William Post Jr., Paul Kelly
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

In this tale of a good girl who goes very bad, a beautiful young Southern lady remains faithful to the man she loves while he is away in the military . . . until she gets a letter that he ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Diane McBain, Arthur Kennedy, Will Hutchins
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A group of prisoners are planning an escape. They take hostages. Warden Duffy tries to convince one of the inmates that their plight is useless, and to give up.

Director: Walter Doniger
Stars: Louis Hayward, Joanne Dru, Paul Kelly
Flying High (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An eccentric inventor and his new flying machine are the focus of this musical comedy.

Director: Charles Reisner
Stars: Bert Lahr, Charlotte Greenwood, Pat O'Brien
Full House (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

John Steinbeck introduces a quintet of five of O. Henry's most celebrated stories from his New York Period (1902-1910) in this anthology film.

Directors: Henry Hathaway, Howard Hawks, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Fred Allen, Anne Baxter, Jeanne Crain
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Mary Turner, is wrongly accused, by her employer Edward Gilder, and then convicted of theft. In prison she studies law books, and on release partners with another woman to legally scam ... See full summary »

Director: Gustav Machatý
Stars: Ruth Hussey, Tom Neal, Paul Kelly
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Two veteran U. S. Marines master sergeants vie for the affection of a hostess at the Shore Leave café. They also suspect the owner of the café of operating a Nazi spy ring that has been ... See full summary »

Directors: William Hamilton, Frank Ryan
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Edmund Lowe, Binnie Barnes
Side Streets (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A destitute sailor secures a job with a spinster who runs a small fur trimming shop. They marry, and soon have a child, but he cheats on her with serious consequences.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Aline MacMahon, Paul Kelly, Ann Dvorak
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Stalwart Appalachian woman finds romance as she struggles to better herself and her people amid prejudice and familial abuse.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: George Brent, Josephine Hutchinson, Guy Kibbee
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A G-man goes undercover to infiltrate a gang, helping the group's leader escape from prison to gain his trust.

Director: J. Walter Ruben
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Jean Arthur, Chester Morris


Cast overview, first billed only:
Josephine Hutchinson ...
Jean Muir ...
Arthur Byron ...
No. 1 Boss
John Eldredge ...
Mr. McCarger
Willie Fung ...
Tetsu Komai ...
Henry O'Neill ...
Edward Hartford
Ronnie Cosby ...
Bunsy Wellman
William B. Davidson ...
E.H. Swaley (as William Davidson)
George Meeker ...
Bill Kendall
Joseph Crehan ...
Christian Rub ...
Dr. Jorgen


An American, working for his oil company in China, disregards all but the company's interests. " The characters and the institution portrayed in the story are not actual but the product of fiction. The oil business was chosen because light has ever been symbolic of progress." Written by Michael Crew <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The FLAMING HELL OF THE LAST FRONTIER (original print ad - mostly caps) See more »








Release Date:

8 June 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Foties stin Kina  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bess Flowers, Samuel S. Hinds and Cyril Ring are listed as cast members in the AFI Catalog for the movie "Oil for the Lamps of Chine (1935)" but they were not seen in the movie. The Catalog obtains their information from studio records. See more »


Hester Adams Chase: Two things matter to a man, the woman he loves and the work he does.
See more »


Version of Law of the Tropics (1941) See more »


Don't Send My Boy to Harvard
Composer unknown
Sung by Pat O'Brien
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Tale of Newlyweds in China
17 November 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Pat O'Brien is dedicated to his job at the power company. He's trying to get ahead and get a name for himself and a little recognition. At a work seminar, the speaker says select workers are being sent to China to learn from them, to think like them, to be as efficient as them – to learn their work ethic. He is transferred but is told that the company frowns upon married men in China as the wives can't take the time alone there, as much is demanded on each man by the company. But Pat was engaged. He was, until he received a wire, saying she backed out from coming to a strange land. But he had to get someone to save face. Enter Josephine Hutchinson was traveling with her father, a lover and teacher of the Orient, who passed away while traveling. Their conversations lead to them being married and an understanding was made between them. What I consider a poor man's "The Good Earth," "Oil for the Lamps of China" is a story of two people finding themselves and understanding each other's roles in the world. I love the title, as it feels very old and yet very resourceful and inventive. Based on a novel, this was a captivating story of American people thrust in the Chinese world. Through their ups and downs, trials and tribulations, he is trying to ahead in the company, doing and dying for them, while she is trying to be a strong and devoted wife to her man. Josephine Hutchinson was a good actress who has virtually been forgotten, but a lot of that is due to the fact she was not cast as the female lead very often. This was probably her biggest and best role in Hollywood ever. She was also seen in Lana Turner's "Cass Timberlane" and Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" in a very small role. If you ever get a chance to see "Oil for the Lamps of China," a very rare, intelligent and engrossing film, please watch it and enjoy films the way they were years ago and were meant to be – entertaining while informative of a country, people, of a way of life, of a way to live, of a new perspective.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Oil for the lamps of china thewhistler99
Just 6 years later. swojtak
Discuss Oil for the Lamps of China (1935) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: