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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
Henry O'Neill ...
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:

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:

A sárkány birodalma  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

Referenced in Charlie Chan in Shanghai (1935) 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

 
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.


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