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The General Died at Dawn (1936)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 665 users  
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Amid the anarchy of China, an American mercenary tangles with a ruthless warlord.

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Title: The General Died at Dawn (1936)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Judy Perrie
...
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
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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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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. 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

O'Hara: You ask me why I'm for oppressed people? Because I've got a background of oppression myself, and O'Haras and elephants never forget.
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 »

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User Reviews

 
"We could have made beautiful music together"
17 October 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

O'Hara (Gary Cooper) is on a mission to deliver money to Mr Wu (Dudley Digges) so that Mr Wu can buy weapons from Brighton (William Frawley) in his struggle against the Chinese warlord General Yang (Akim Tamiroff). However, he is betrayed by Judy Perrie (Madeleine Carroll) and her father Peter Perrie (Porter Hall) and is captured by Yang on a train. He hands over the money and is taken hostage but escapes and determines to get the money back.......

This film is pretty confusing and you have to pay attention to keep up. It still loses you in parts, though, especially at the beginning. The cast are nothing special and fall in between the extremes of Akim Tamiroff who is excellent as the warlord and William Frawley who is dreadful in every scene that he appears in. Frawley also has an awful, raspy-throat voice which really invades your brain. He manages to produce a very offensive performance and it doesn't help the film at all.

The story confuses at the beginning, then levels out into semi-tedium with unbelievability factor 10. The way in which Cooper breezes through the film with his cocky manner is pure phoniness (he would have been killed at his first meeting with Yang). The plot is also somewhat cheapened by the way that General Yang meets his death. Frawley's involvement in the final denouement is an outrageous con to those who are looking forward to a good climax.

The film is done in such a way as to preach to the viewer and this stand of taking the moral high ground insults the audience...........Shut up, Cooper!!..... There is also some really crass dialogue in the love scenes. Overall, the film is a let-down.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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