6.7/10
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18 user 15 critic

The General Died at Dawn (1936)

Amid the anarchy of China, an American mercenary tangles with a ruthless warlord.

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(screen play), (based on a story by)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Gen. Yang
...
Mr. Wu
...
Peter Perrie
...
Brighton
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Leach
...
Oxford
Lee Tung Foo ...
Mr. Chen (as Lee Tung-Foo)
...
Stewart
Val Duran ...
Wong
...
Bartender
...
Yang's Military Advisor (as Hans Furberg)
John O'Hara ...
Newspaper Reporter on Train
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Storyline

In revolution-torn China, American mercenary O'Hara is entrusted with a perilous mission, to get arms for the helpless authorities in a province ravaged by warlord General Yang. On the train to Shanghai, he meets Judy Perrie, whose father is in league with Yang. Will Judy regret agreeing to lure O'Hara to his doom, and if so, can she make it up to him? The balance of power seesaws to a perilous conclusion. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

warlord | mercenary | china | See All (3) »


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 October 1936 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Chinese Gold  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main character, O'Hara, is based on the real-life adventurer Morris "Two-Gun" Cohen (1887-1970). Born in Poland to a Jewish family, Cohen grew up in the tough streets of London's East End. As a teenager, he moved to western Canada and became a ranch hand and gambler in Saskatchewan, and later a highly successful real-estate agent in Alberta. During World War I he fought in Europe with the Canadian Railway Troops. His friendship with Chinese workers on the Canadian-Pacific Railroad prompted him to go to China in the 1920s. After negotiating a railroad deal with Dr. Yat-sen Sun, Cohen became a personal bodyguard to Sun and a trainer of Sun's private army. After Sun's death in 1925, Cohen ran guns for various Chinese warlords throughout the 1930s. When the Japanese invaded China in 1937, Cohen continued to supply Chinese resistance forces with arms and served with the British SOE. In 1941, following the fall of Hong Kong, he was captured by the Japanese and put in a prison camp, but was traded to the English in 1943 in a rare prisoner exchange. After the war, Cohen continued to operate in China as an agent for various British firms, including Rolls-Royce and Decca Radar. His former dealings with Chinese warlords kept him in good standing with Chinese Communist officials until his death in 1970. See more »

Goofs

While arguing with Peter, Judy slams a book down on the desk. A couple of other books on the corner of the desk disappear in a later scene. See more »

Quotes

O'Hara: [to Judy Perrie, after killing Peter Perrie] I'm not sorry for him. He took a job, he knew what was involved. I'm sorry you had to get into this mess. I said it before. You can't do this kind of work and die in bed. It was my life or his.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits all appear on the sails of boats. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hogan's Heroes: The Kommandant Dies at Dawn (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting Characters & Film
26 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Thanks to the cast of characters in here, led by the wise-cracking Gary Cooper and a pretty Madeline Carroll, this was a pretty interesting film. Some of the minor characters also made this movie to fun, notably Akim Tamiroff's "General Yang," as well as Bill Frawley''s "Brighton;" Porter Hall's "Peter Prrie/Peter Martin" and Dudley Digges' creepy busybody "Mr. Wu."

Nowaday, Digges and Tamiroff's characters would be played by real Asian actors and would be a bit more credible. Also, in a real-life situation, Cooper would have been eliminated early on after the bad guys had gotten his money.

Nevertheless, credibility issues aside (which you have to do in most movies, anyway, old and new), the good dialog, interesting faces, characters and cinematography all make this movie a lot better than I expected.


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