5.6/10
726
16 user 17 critic

The Chairman (1969)

M | | Action, Drama, Thriller | July 1969 (UK)
During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the US government sends a scientist to China to steal the formula for a new agricultural enzyme developed by the Chinese.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Night People (1954)
Adventure | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During the Cold War, an American soldier is abducted by Soviet agents in West Berlin, sparking a recovery effort led by Colonel Steve Van Dyke.

Director: Nunnally Johnson
Stars: Gregory Peck, Broderick Crawford, Anita Björk
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A sympathetic retired army scout takes-in a white woman and her half-Apache son, not knowing that the boy's father, a murderous renegade Apache, is after them.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Gregory Peck, Eva Marie Saint, Robert Forster
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Famous Spanish bandit Artiguez returns to his native Spanish village after 20 years in French exile but Spanish cop Vinolas is setting a trap for him.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharif
Mirage (1965)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A New York man suffers amnesia. He soon learns that he's mixed up in a life-and-death situation, but what exactly is it?

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Gregory Peck, Diane Baker, Walter Matthau
Marooned (1969)
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Three American astronauts are stranded in space when their retros won't fire. Can they be rescued before their oxygen runs out?

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1944, an Army doctor is in charge of a neuropsychiatric ward at an Army Air Corps hospital in Arizona and he must deal with a variety of tough cases.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Angie Dickinson
Arabesque (1966)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Story of international intrigue involving a university professor, an Arab prime minister, a ruthless businessman, a beautiful spy, and hieroglyphics.

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren, Alan Badel
Certificate: M Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A bandit kidnaps a Marshal who has seen a map showing a gold vein on Indian lands, but other groups are looking for it too, while the Apache try to keep the secret location undisturbed.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif, Telly Savalas
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Writer Harry Street reflects on his life as he lies dying from an infection while on safari in the shadow of Mount Kilamanjaro.

Directors: Henry King, Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Ava Gardner
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-soldier faces ethical questions as he tries to earn enough to support his wife and children well.

Director: Nunnally Johnson
Stars: Gregory Peck, Jennifer Jones, Fredric March
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When someone gets killed during a bank robbery by Deans, half-breed Billy Two Hats and their partner, the robbers flee. Sheriff Gifford tracks the robbers, killing one of them and capturing... See full summary »

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: Gregory Peck, Desi Arnaz Jr., Jack Warden
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A despised cavalry commander is unfairly blamed by his troop for the death of a popular officer and must redeem himself in front of his men during an Indian attack on the fort.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Gregory Peck, Barbara Payton, Ward Bond
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Hathaway
...
Kay Hanna
...
Shelby
Alan Dobie ...
Benson
Conrad Yama ...
The Chairman
...
Ting Ling
...
Shertov
...
Yin (as Eric Young)
...
Chang Shou
Alan White ...
Gardner
...
Professor Soong Li
...
Soong Chu (as Francisca Tu)
Mai Ling ...
Stewardess
Gordon Sterne ...
U.S. Airforce Sergeant
...
Hotel Night Manager
Edit

Storyline

An American scientist is sent to Red China to steal the formula for a newly developed agricultural enzyme. What he is not told by his bosses is that a micro-sized bomb has been planted in his brain so that should the mission ever look likely to fail, he can be eliminated at the push of a button! Written by Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Chairman is Mao Tse-Tung. The Chairman controls the destiny of one billion people. The Chairman is the most feared man in the world...with the possible exception of the one man who can destroy him! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

July 1969 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Chairman  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,915,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Average Shot Length = ~4.3 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~3.9 seconds. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A bit limp...and silly.
12 September 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Gregory Peck is a Nobel Prize-winning American scientist who has been recruited by the US government to go into China to steal the secret for a new enzyme that would do much to feed the starving of the world. And, oddly, the extremely closed Chinese let him in and wine and dine him. He even gets a nice cozy little audience with the ever-adorable Mao (just because he was responsible for more deaths than Hitler doesn't mean he's not a swell guy in this film). Little does Peck know, however, that the evil US government implanted an explosive device into his skull along with a transmitter (which he does know about). Will they detonate him to kill the Chairman or is there mission the one they stated at the beginning of the film?

Considering that the film is about an American espionage agent in Communist China circa 1969, you'd sure think it would be an exciting film. Add to that the talent of Gregory Peck and it seems like a guaranteed winner. Instead, the film just limps along to a less than thrilling and ridiculous conclusion.

One of the major problem is that Peck plays a scientist who hates working for US intelligence but has done so in the past. Yet oddly, despite his strong bias against the spy game, he agrees to risk his life by going into China--and you keep wondering why. His motivations seem mixed at best and this is perhaps the worst part of the film. Additionally, as the film progresses, you see that the film makers employ moral relativism--showing the US and China are basically the same. In this film, the US would love to starve the world in order to maintain its power. But comparing Mao's regime (best estimates 25-100 million killed during his rule--I guess you gotta break a few eggs to make this omelet) to the US seemed a bit...well....insane. Throw into the mix that the US and USSR are now good buddies in the film and you are left wondering who, if anyone, to root for in the movie. This really is THE main problem with the film.

Another problem, though not as severe, is the relative ease with which Peck enters China and eventually leaves China. You didn't just do this in the 1960s--heck, you don't just do this today! His ease in escaping seemed rather dumb and you know that in reality the Chinese during this time were pretty ruthless and far from dumb. Purges and counter-revolution fever were rampant--as was xenophobia (which, fortunately, has changed a lot over the years). In such a crazed environment, a 6' 3" American would probably be spotted and captured very, very quickly!

Overall, this is one of Peck's misfires. The film never seems credible though it is an interesting time-passer provided you don't think through the details too much.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?