7.3/10
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46 user 23 critic

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)

All her life Englishwoman Gladys Aylward knew that China was the place where she belonged. Not qualified to be sent there as a missionary, Gladys works as a domestic to earn the money to ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Gladys Aylward
...
Capt. Lin Nan (as Curt Jurgens)
...
The Mandarin of Yang Cheng
Michael David ...
Hok-A
Athene Seyler ...
Jeannie Lawson
...
Sir Francis Jamison
...
Dr. Robinson
...
Mr. Murfin
Peter Chong ...
Yang
...
Sui-Lan
Edith Sharpe ...
Secretary at China Inland Mission
Joan Young ...
Sir Francis' cook
Lian-Shin Yang ...
Woman with Baby
Noel Hood ...
Miss Thompson (as Noël Hood)
...
Li

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Storyline

All her life Englishwoman Gladys Aylward knew that China was the place where she belonged. Not qualified to be sent there as a missionary, Gladys works as a domestic to earn the money to send herself to a poor, remote village. There she eventually lives a full and happy life: running the inn, acting as "foot inspector", advising the local Mandarin and even winning the heart of mixed race Captain Lin Nan. But Gladys discovers her real destiny when the country is invaded by Japan and the Chinese children need her to save their lives. Based on a true story. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love had suddenly come to her under the China sky...love for this Eurasian soldier who now pressed his earthy, Oriental skin against her own...

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

19 December 1958 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

A Hatodik Boldogság fogadója  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Gladys Aylward was reportedly very embarrassed at the romantic part of the film. She did fall in love with a Chinese soldier but they never married and it was very brief. See more »

Goofs

The cook speaks Cantonese, a dialect from the Southern part of China. The other Chinese actors in the movie speak Mandarin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gladys Aylward: My name is Gladys Aylward. I've written to the head of the missionary society. His reply stated that he'd see me if I ever came to London. If he's busy, I can wait.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening title card reads: "This story is based upon the life of Gladys Aylward, a woman of our time, who was, and is dedicated to the simple, joyful and rare belief that we are all responsible for each other." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sixth Happiness (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Onward Christian Soldiers
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Sullivan and lyrics by Sabine Baring-Gould
Sung by Ingrid Bergman on the Trans-Siberian Train
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A movie of heart...

In spite of the rejection of her application for missionary work because of her lack of formal education, Gladys Aylward—a strong London domestic in the service of a retired explorer—decides to join an English missionary who has set up a hostelry in the mountains of North China... Here, Sara Lanson (Athene Seyler) takes in muleteers, provides them with food and lodging, and tries by ingenious means to convert them to Christianity...

Gladys saves enough money to travel to China via the Trans-Siberian Railway... Eventually she reaches the inn and Miss Lanson, and becomes her aide...

Gradually, Gladys wins over the people of the area, with her good works and humble, friendly approach... Soon she is known as "Jan-Ai" (The One Who Loves People).

After Miss Lanson's death, Gladys goes to work as a foot inspector (to enforce a government edict against binding of females' foot) at the request of a tired and cynical mandarin (Robert Donat), who is irritated by her meddling and sends her on foot-inspection trips to get rid of her... But upon her return from an arduous journey, he finds himself respectful of her dedication and courage and becomes her friend...

Captain Lin Nan (Curt Jurgens), a Chinese Army officer, comes into the district to enforce discipline in the face of the Japanese 1931 invasion... Gladys meanwhile has succeeded in restoring order in a prison uprising with her healing presence, and when Lin Nan finds it necessary to warn the people of the countryside against the Japanese, Gladys, through bandits she has befriended and are now devoted to her, manages to aid him in his efforts...

Lin and Gladys gradually fall in love, and before he leaves to rejoin the Chinese forces, he gives her a jade ring as a token of his feeling, and promises that they will someday be permanently together...

The Japanese attack, and it becomes necessary to march 100 motherless children to a mission safe in the interior... Before Gladys volunteers for, and leaves on, the mission with the children, the Mandarin offers her a parting gift: his conversion to Christianity.

There is no doubt about the splendor of Ingrid Bergman dramatizing Gladys Aylward, the "woman who wasn't qualified to come to China." With a luminous smile, she fills the screen with radiance, bringing missionary work purity of spirit, challenge, simplicity, frankness, honesty, energy, force and love...

The film, based on the novel "The Small Woman" by Alan Burgess, is a fine adventure story with love, war, religion, comedy, music, and spectacle...

Hollywood took some liberties in romancing the character with a Chinese officer—which was not true—Gladys Aylward (1904-70) was a great 'little woman' who lived a virtuous life full of quality, respect and admiration... She faced the impossible with hope, seeing the world through God's telescope...


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