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Barricade (1939)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 8 December 1939 (USA)
In China in the 1930s a singer (Faye) and journalist (Baxter) meet on a train attacked by bandits.


Gregory Ratoff


Granville Walker (story and screenplay)


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Manicurists Sally, Irene and Mary hope to be Broadway entertainers. When Mary inherits an old ferry boat, they turn it into a successful supper club.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Alice Faye, Tony Martin, Fred Allen


Complete credited cast:
Alice Faye ... Emmy Jordan
Warner Baxter ... Hank Topping
Charles Winninger ... Samuel J. Cady
Arthur Treacher ... Upton Ward
Keye Luke ... Ling - Cady's Secretary
Willie Fung ... Yen - Cady's Major Domo
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Ward
Eily Malyon ... Mrs. Little - Head of Mission
Joan Carroll ... Winifred Ward (as Joan Carol)
Leonid Snegoff Leonid Snegoff ... Boris - Russian Consul
Philip Ahn ... Col. Wai Kang
Jonathan Hale ... Assistant Secretary of State
Moroni Olsen ... Shanghai Managing Editor
Harry Hayden ... Shanghai Telegraph Manager


In China in the 1930s a singer (Faye) and journalist (Baxter) meet on a train attacked by bandits.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 December 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sitiados See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A contemporary news item listed May Beatty in the cast, but she was not seen in the movie. See more »


There'll Be Other Nights
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Lew Pollack
Lyrics by Lew Brown
Recorded and filmed by Alice Faye but never used. As of 1970 the film was still in the studio vault but has likely decomposed since. It survives today as 16mm prints in maybe two private collections. The soundtrack has been issued on several Alice Faye albums.
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable Barrel of Clichés
6 May 2004 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

Every Hollywood Oriental must have appeared in this one, including at least two of Charlie Chan's sons. It's one of those fun romantic comedy/adventures where the white folks travel around in exotic lands and wear panama hats. See, "The General Died at Dawn," "China Seas," inter alia. This one mostly involves a reporter who has been drunk for three weeks but who quickly recovers in time to win the girl and the battle, a forgotten American consulate that is turned into a fort, and hordes of Mongolian bandits who like nothing more than to kill innocent people and smash the furniture. You can tell that it's somewhere in China because the stage-bound sets feature lots of moon gates, Oriental prints on the walls, bamboo curtains, and Fu dogs.

Well, this is supposed to be the Chinese/Mongolian border in 1939 and the Japanese are never mentioned, but okay. The Nationalist Chinese Army is on the side of the angels, and I guess that's okay too. Nobody ever claimed that there were not bandit warlords in 1939 China who were not controlled by the Japanese or by the Chinese Nationalists or the Chinese Communists. It wouldn't be surprising to find them still there.

I kind of enjoyed it, although I must say it was a little corny at times and lacked the verve that other examples of the genre often managed to show. I think it would have been a better flick with a villain like the gruff, slimy, duplicitous, hammy Wallace Beery of "China Seas." Warner Baxter seems a little old for the part of an adventurous Byronic free-lance reporter. Alice Faye, with her plump lower lip, is quite nice looking and doesn't cause the viewer much pain. Charles Winninger is a sentimental figure. The Chinese servants play the part that exotic servants usually play, figures of fun until they die to save the Massah.

Speaking of dying, the movie is divided into two halves. The first half is the romantic comedy, which isn't too engaging because the script lacks wit. The comedy seems mechanical (Faye trying to pass herself off as a Russian bride) and the romance is unconvincing. But the movie picks up in its second half, behind those barricaded walls. The besieged hold off all those bandits by the simple expedient of never missing when they shoot, whereas the bandits are the worst shots in the world. Not that there's a lot of blood, or even distress, involved in their deaths. Like Dirty Harry's victims, they don't die shrieking in agony. They simply flop down when shot, like dropped marionettes. (Bang. Flop.) The gunsmoke lingers in the air, which is a nice touch.

A diverting trifle.

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