6.7/10
769
18 user 13 critic

The General Died at Dawn (1936)

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

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (based on a story by)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Three British soldiers on the Northwest Frontier of India struggle against the enemy - and themselves.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, Richard Cromwell
Souls at Sea (1937)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Cooper and Raft save lives during a sea tragedy in this story about slave trade on the high seas in 1842.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, George Raft, Frances Dee
Beau Geste (1939)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three adopted English brothers join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, after one of them steals their adoptive family's famous heirloom sapphire.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Architect Peter Ibbetson is hired by the Duke of Towers to design a building for him. Ibbetson discovers that the Duchess of Towers, Mary, is his now-grown childhood sweetheart. Their love ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, Ann Harding, John Halliday
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1885, a Texas Ranger travels to Canada to arrest a trapper who's wanted for murder and who's stirring up the Natives in a rebellion against the Canadian government.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll, Paulette Goddard
Desire (1936)
Comedy | Romance | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An automotive engineer bound for a holiday in Spain meets a sultry jewel thief.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, John Halliday
The Plainsman (1936)
Biography | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Wild Bill Hickok attempts to stop an Indian uprising that was started by white gun-runners.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, James Ellison
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a beautiful socialite masquerades as a maid, she becomes involved with an unpretentious, plain-spoken cowboy who's unaware of her true identity.

Directors: H.C. Potter, Stuart Heisler, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Gary Cooper, Merle Oberon, Patsy Kelly
Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A good-natured saddle tramp traveling with his sidekick, is mistaken for a ruthless outlaw with a price on his head.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Loretta Young, William Demarest
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A disgraced merchant marine officer elects to stay aboard his sinking cargo ship in order to prove the vessel was deliberately scuttled and, as a result, vindicate his good name.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Gary Cooper, Charlton Heston, Michael Redgrave
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Three sisters scheme to reunite their divorced parents before their wealthy father marries a conniving gold digger.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Binnie Barnes, Charles Winninger, Alice Brady
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Young love is poisoned by a generations long feud between two noble families.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, John Barrymore
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
General Yang
Dudley Digges ...
Mr. Wu
Porter Hall ...
Peter Perrie
...
Brighton
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Leach
Philip Ahn ...
Oxford
Lee Tung Foo ...
Mr. Chen (as Lee Tung-Foo)
Leonid Kinskey ...
Stewart
Val Duran ...
Wong
Willie Fung ...
Bartender
Hans Fuerberg ...
Yang's Military Advisor (as Hans Furberg)
John O'Hara ...
Newspaper Reporter
Edit

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) »


Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 October 1936 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Chinese Gold  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

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. Sun Yat-sen, 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

Judy Perrie: If I believed like that in anything... I'd do a dance.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Spoofed in A Coy Decoy (1941) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Gary Cooper Shows His Gift of Gab
28 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The General Died at Dawn, the title itself is enough of a giveaway as to what happens. But the circumstances leading up to the death of Chinese Warlord Akim Tamiroff is quite a tale.

The setting for this film is Kuomintang China where the government of Chiang Kai-Shek doesn't have its writ run very far. Most of China in the Twenties is controlled by various provincial warlords. In fact a case could be made that the Chinese Communists under Mao Tse-tung was viewed as just another warlord. But that's a whole different story.

American adventurer Gary Cooper has a money belt with a whole lot of cash in it entrusted to him by the opposition faction to Akim Tamiroff. He's supposed to make contact with William Frawley in Shanghai who when he's not drinking the hotel bar dry, runs guns.

But Madeleine Carroll and her father Porter Hall who are working for Tamiroff help Tamiroff part Cooper from his money. In the case of Coop, he's real guilty of thinking with his gonads. Then Porter Hall steals the money for himself and the film gets real interesting.

There's one big flaw in the film, occurring when Madeleine Carroll who starts falling for Cooper, refers to him as the "O'Hara Boy." O'Hara is Cooper's character name. Coop was 35 when this film was made and referring to him as 'boy' was ludicrous. But then again a man of 35 should have been on better guard. Film might have worked better if someone younger like Robert Taylor or Tyrone Power played the part of O'Hara. Or Clifford Odets's script should have given Carroll a more elaborate ruse to play on Cooper.

Two major oriental roles were given to occidental players. Casting like Akim Tamiroff as the warlord Yang and Dudley Digges as Mr. Wu who employs Cooper would never happen today. But both do well and come to think of it Tamiroff does have an oriental strain in his ancestry.

One bit of casting really hits home. By all accounts William Frawley was hardly the lovable tightwad Fred Mertz in real life. He was a misanthropic alcoholic in the tradition of W.C.Fields and a mean drunk when he was loaded which was often back then. His role as Brighton, the misanthropic, mean, and thoroughly racist gunrunner was way closer to the real Bill Frawley.

Gary Cooper in The General Died at Dawn was playing a role that Humphrey Bogart would probably have done in the forties. It was always joked that Cooper's dialog consisted of 'yup' and 'nope.' But the way he gets himself, Carroll and Digges out of a real predicament in the end called for quite a gift of gab.


15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
if you Like Lugers, you gotta see this film.. dcmakm47
Is there a reel missing? john_stiefel
That last shot... tag65
Discuss The General Died at Dawn (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?