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Dragon Seed (1944)

Passed  -  Drama | History | War  -  August 1944 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 736 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 6 critic

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 »
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Title: Dragon Seed (1944)

Dragon Seed (1944) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jade Tan
...
Ling Tan
Aline MacMahon ...
Ling Tan's Wife
...
Wu Lien
Turhan Bey ...
Lao Er Tan - Middle Son
Hurd Hatfield ...
Lao San Tan - Youngest Son
J. Carrol Naish ...
Japanese Kitchen Overseer
...
Third Cousin's Wife
...
Third Cousin
Robert Bice ...
Lao Ta Tan - Eldest Son
Robert Lewis ...
Capt. Sato
Frances Rafferty ...
Orchid Tan - Lao Ta's Wife
Jacqueline deWit ...
Wu Lien's Wife
Clarence Lung ...
Fourth Cousin
Paul E. Burns ...
Neighbor Shen
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

china | village | student | merchant | invasion | See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

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:

(Turner library print) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

Japanese Official: [to restaurant waiter] Oh, no wine, hunh, and where are your women?
[laciviously]
Japanese Official: There are other things than wine!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Going Hollywood: The War Years (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Chee Lai
Composer unknown
Sung by Eugene Dorian and Wong Artarne as part of the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Underrated World War II Drama
9 April 2001 | by (Las Vegas,Nevada) – See all my reviews

Many critics consider the 1944 drama,"Dragon Seed" to be an overlong epic that has unconvincing characterizations of Chinese people. It's true that some of American actors in this film don't look Chinese,but a majority of them do. With that said,"Dragon Seed" is one of the best films about World War II. I have ever seen. It contains excellent performances by the entire cast and deals with a part of the war that is rarely mentioned, the Japanese occupation in China in the late 1930's. The film is based on a popular novel by Pearl S. Buck and tells the story of Ling Tan(Walter Huston)and his family of farmers.Tan and his wife(Aline MacMahon)try to keep the ancient Chinese customs alive in their household, but they soon realize that this is impossible. Jade,(Katharine Hepburn)Tan's daughter-in-law and many people in China are finding out ways to protect themselves against Japanese invaders. When the Japanese come, their lives are destroyed forever. The farmers are forced to share most of their land with the invaders,homes and personal belongings are destroyed,the invaders storm into homes and kill people, and people flee to get away from all the chaos. As a viewer,you see a family courageously surviving turmoil the best way that they can. The film is entertaining all the way through. Katharine Hepburn gives one of the greatest and most underrated performances of her career.She should have gotten,at least,an Oscar nomination for it. Walter Huston and Aline MacMahon are equally brilliant as the wise heads of the family. Agnes Moorehead gives a fascinating performance as a nasty in-law,who will do anything to get what she wants. Of course, this film has the usual high MGM production values. I give it a 9 out of 10.


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