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A biplane pilot is saddled with a spoiled industrialist's daughter on a search for her missing father through Asia that eventually involves them in a struggle against a Chinese warlord. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
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The best thing about "High Road to China" is that it does not try to change the world by making a social statement. It does not try to do anything but be an escape for moviegoers. Is it a perfect film? No. But this is one of my favorite films because it does just that - it allows me to escape. This much under-appreciated movie tells an excellent story: a rich brat living in the Roaring 20's hires a flying ace to find her father in a remote part of China. From a cinemagraphic point-of-view, it is a very good-looking film. Bess Armstrong never looked better on screen. And although her character of Eve Tozer is not always believable, I liked her as the rich brat who thinks everything has its price. I was never a Tom Selleck fan, but as Patrick O'Malley, he makes the perfect flying daredevil
a hard drinker who has trouble showing that he has a heart. The late Jack
Weston, who was one of the better character actors of our modern times, is perfectly cast as the sidekick mechanic Struts. And the late Robert Morley provides good comic relief in the midst of being the heavy.
The movie simply looks good with its gorgeous locations and colors. The flying sequences - especially the dogfight between O'Malley and the German ace (complete with references to the famous Red Baron) is first-rate, and the battle scenes are shot very well. The pace of the film is not always even, but one sequence after another has our protagonists in some dire predicament. And it is fun watching them try and get out of each one. It should have done better at the box office, for the film is still a favorite of cable movie channels and people who discover it on video for the first time. I would recommend this film to anyone, because it is simply a little gem and a wonderful film for movie buffs who wish to escape.
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