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The end of Gaumont British as a production company
GB under the command of Michael Balcon as production head decided to aim its productions at the American market.Unfortunately as this film shows it would have missed its mark by a mile.As Rachel Low in her estimable book on British Film Production in the 30s says,either they shows actors of insufficient stature or those who were of sufficient stature didn't come up to the mark.Wallace Ford is after all an amiable enough actor but by no stretch of the imagination was he a star.So there was little likelihood that he would draw the customers in the states.Even employing Raoul Walsh as director is nullified by the longueurs of the first half when clearly as a quid pro quo to the army we see drilling and marching and bands playing so that the film grinds to a halt.Ironically at the end the British Army are shown as all conquering in the Asian conflict whereas a few years later they were routed by the Japanese army.It is little surprise that shortly after this film was made Gaumont British closed down their production arm and Shepherds Bush studios and was eventually sold off t rank.A sad end to a misguided dream.
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