American pilot Cliff Brandon, fighting the Japanese in China, finds himself the unintentional "owner" of a Chinese housekeeper, Shu-Jen. The unlikely couple falls in love and marries, but not without tragedy brought on by the war.
Daniel Thatcher is an American sergeant serving with a British tank corps in North Africa. He and most of his unit are captured by the Germans, who learn his identity as a man who once ... See full summary »
In 1940 Col. Dufort arrives in Timbuktu with his wife to take over the French garrison. This garrison is threatened by a Tuareg uprising supposedly inspired by Mohamet Adjani -- a holy man ... See full summary »
Yvonne De Carlo,
In China gruff Air Force captain Cliff Brandon wakes up after a night of drinking to discover he has purchased the housekeeping services of comely, young Shu-Jen from her father. Disappointed by Cliff's insistence on staying out late in bars, Shu-Jen leaves for home when Cliff, made aware that she is carrying her child, finds her and marries her in a delightful traditional Chinese ceremony. Happy days are spent as Shu-Jen and her infant daughter join Cliff at a forward base until Cliff, returning from a supply-drop mission, hears the base is under attack by Japanese bombers. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After a decade's absence from the big screen director Frank Borzage did a few films toward the end of his life, the first being a tender love story set in Western China during World War II. Although you would hardly call Victor Mature's character an innocent like most of Borzage's protagonists, the female lead, Chinese actress Li Hua Li more than makes up for it in her character.
Mature is a transport pilot in the China-Burma-India theater and during a night on the town he wakes up finds out he's bought himself a Chinese concubine from her father. On a three month trial basis and Li Hua Li goes with him. Naturally this arrangement doesn't please all at the base with their western views on morality especially the women nurses. But Mature finds a surprising ally in Father Ward Bond who runs an orphanage and has spent decades in China and knows the customs well. In fact the main scene of the film is Bond presiding over a Chinese style wedding when the two realize they're in love. Of course the fact that a little one is on the way does speed everyone's plans up.
China Doll despite its themes of miscegenation is really a rather old fashioned film. Films like Sayonara and Love Is A Many Splendored Thing really tackled the whole issue far better. And I found the ending completely ridiculous especially if Mature's first concern was the safety of his infant daughter.
Vic and Li Hua Li are a touching pair of lovers though and the wartime combat scenes are expertly handled. Fans of Mature and of Ms. Li who is a big name in the Chinese cinema might like this though.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?