6.5/10
192
8 user 1 critic

Oil for the Lamps of China (1935)

Approved | | Drama | 8 June 1935 (USA)
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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Hester
...
Alice
...
Jim
...
No. 1 Boss
John Eldredge ...
Don
...
Mr. McCarger
...
Kin
Tetsu Komai ...
Ho
...
Edward Hartford
Ronnie Cosby ...
Bunsy Wellman
...
E.H. Swaley (as William Davidson)
...
Bill Kendall
...
Clements
...
Dr. Jorgen
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Storyline

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 <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 June 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A sárkány birodalma  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Stephen Chase: Face and tradition will exist in Chinese business as long as there is a Chinaman to transact it.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Chinatown, My Chinatown
(1910) (uncredited)
Music by Jean Schwartz
Whistled by Pat O'Brien
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User Reviews

First-rate, yet all but forgotten
18 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

The length and sweep of many novels that are brought to the screen often give the film an episodic quality: too many incidents, too many characters, too little time to do justice to any of it.

Here is a picture that manages, for the most part, to avoid such pitfalls, and to tell a "big" story with skill and intensity. Like its excellent director, Mervyn LeRoy, it remains greatly underappreciated.

The theme of personal responsibility being compromised by business obligations is one that movies have not often handled, and certainly never more effectively than here. Character conflicts are dealt with in a mature, understated manner. The "company" is portrayed as an impersonal, largely uncaring force, oblivious to the needs and personal fulfillment of its employees.

One could object to the contrived manner in which Steve and Hester meet at the start, and quickly arrange a marriage of convenience. And surely Pat O'Brien, with his limited range, was a less than ideal choice for the leading role. Overall, however, you will not find many pictures of its type that equal this one.


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