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Oil for the Lamps of China (1935)

 -  Drama  -  8 June 1935 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 166 users  
Reviews: 7 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 »

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Title: Oil for the Lamps of China (1935)

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

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Cast

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

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:

A courageous young American and his bride --- fighting for happiness against ten centuries of darkness --- caught in a maelstrom of mystery, glamor, hatred, intrigue! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 June 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Foties stin Kina  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Suey Long Wong took two weeks off from his day job as Laird Doyle's live-in cook to appear in this film. See more »

Quotes

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

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
See more »

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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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