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During the 1950s an American journalist disappears in China. His wife, Jane Hoyt, arrives in Honk Kong, determined to find him. There are rumors that Louis Hoyt might be held by the Communist Chinese as spy. Jane Hoyt asks shady shipping magnate Hank Lee for his help but Hank tries to dissuade her from venturing into Red China. Desperate, Jane asks another local, Fernand Rocha, for his help and pays him money. When dishonest and sleazy charlatan Rocha spends her money and forcibly confines her Hank Lee finally takes pity on her and decides to go searching for her husband himself. Illegally entering Red China Hank finds plenty of trouble. Written by
The Communist Chinese "gunboat" in the chase sequence was shown firing a Royal Navy pattern 6-pdr (Hotchkiss 57mm). However, close-ups of the gun crew showed what appeared to be a U.S. Navy pattern 3-in 23 caliber "boat gun" (same type used on the U.S. gunboat in the later "Sand Pebbles"). See more »
In search of her missing photographer husband, Jane Hoyt (Susan Hayward) arrives in Hong Kong and learns at the U.S. Consulate that her mission is futile, that neither the United States nor the British government can help her...
She turns in despair to Hank Lee (Clark Gable), an American soldier of fortune who runs a profitable smuggling business on each side of the bamboo curtain...
Hank is attracted to Jane's sultry red-haired beauty... He develops a personal interest in the lady, but when she repulses his advances, he realizes that the only way to win her over is to rescue her husband... Aided by an incorruptible English harbor policeman, Inspector Merryweather (Michael Rennie), he discovers that her husband is being held prisoner near Canton, where he is being brainwashed...
Hank prepares to rescue Hoyt in his powered junk, Chicago, and is annoyed to find Inspector Merryweather aboard... Since the inspector knows the nature of Hank's merchandise, he was held prisoner aboard the sailing vessel... Later, however, when Hank's crewmen desert rather than enter Red China, Merryweather, realizing that this is a rescue mission, offers his help...
Clark Gable was getting a little too old for these kinds of actions, but the film holds attention with its good yarn and its interesting locations...
Hayward looks different without her famous long tresses... This was her second movie with the tall, gaunt Michael Rennie... She had one scene with him in 'Demetrius and the Gladiators.'
Ironically, this anticommunist adventure film was directed by Edward Dmytryk, one of the 'Hollywood Ten.'
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