6.2/10
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Dragon Seed (1944)

Passed | | Drama, History, War | August 1944 (USA)
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2:55 | Trailer

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The lives of a small Chinese village are turned Upside down when the Japanese invade it. And heroic young Chinese woman leads her fellow villagers in an uprising against Japanese Invaders.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ling Tan
...
Ling Tan's Wife
...
Wu Lien
...
Lao Er Tan - Middle Son
...
Lao San Tan - Youngest Son
...
Japanese Kitchen Overseer
...
Third Cousin's Wife
...
Third Cousin
...
Lao Ta Tan - Eldest Son
...
Capt. Sato
...
Orchid Tan - Lao Ta's Wife
Jacqueline deWit ...
Wu Lien's Wife
Clarence Lung ...
Fourth Cousin
...
Neighbor Shen
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Storyline

Ling Tang and his family live on his prosperous farm in rural Southern China and have not yet felt the impact of the Japanese invasion in the North. Tang's two oldest sons, Lao Ta Tan and Lao Er Tan are married and hard working while youngest son Lao San Tan remains a free spirit. Er's wife Jade is also willfully unconventional and desires to exercises her literacy skills by reading books, a most unfeminine practice in 1930's China. Tang's only daughter is married to Wu Lien, a city merchant who profits from selling Japanese goods. When the dreaded invasion reaches their village, the family is scattered as the sons join the resistance while Wu Lien survives by collaborating with the enemy. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les fils du dragon  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in 1943 on the MGM lot in Culver City during the Second World War, the film features an unusual assortment of non-Asian actors with odd accents playing Chinese and Japanese: Russian-born and Stanislavski-trained Akim Tamiroff as Wu Lien; Turhan Bey, Viennese born son of a Turkish father and Czechoslovakian mother as the middle son, Lao Er Tan; New England patrician Katharine Hepburn as his wife; American Aline MacMahon, no longer one of the wisecracking Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), as the wife of Ling Tang; English born Henry Travers (best remembered as Clarence the Angel from It's a Wonderful Life (1946)) as the Third Cousin;" Irish-America J. Carrol Naish as the Japanese Kitchen Overseer; and finally Jewish-American Robert Lewis, co-founder of the Actors Studio and Meryl Streep's teacher at the Yale Drama School as the Japanese Captain Sato. See more »

Quotes

Ling Tan: [to Jade] Remember, my child, that the woman is the root and the man is the tree. The tree grows only as high as the root is strong.
See more »


Soundtracks

Chee Lai
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Sung by Eugene Dorian and Wong Artarne as part of the score
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User Reviews

 
Has spare, beautiful moments, with the horrors of war vividly portrayed
13 June 2004 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

When hard-working China is attacked by the power-hungry Japanese, a pre-feminist Chinese woman struggles with her family for survival; eventually she and her husband become fighters in the Resistance and help to influence their family and fellow villagers to join them. Hollywood product, with intentions that seem sincere, adapted from a Pearl Buck novel and starring...Katharine Hepburn? Actually, Kate is not flossy or "regal" here; she's nobody's fool and probably knows she's miscast, but her Asian make-up is commendable and she tries (not in vain) to find a character. In support, Walter Huston and Aline MacMahon, as Hepburn's Old World in-laws, are excellent. The movie has beautiful cinematography and absorbing passages, but its length is self-defeating and there are some howlers in the script and in much of the casting. Not a hit at the box-office, but by this time people were so used to Hepburn's hit-or-miss choices that it didn't hurt her. **1/2 from ****


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