6.5/10
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74 user 30 critic

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)

A widowed doctor of both Chinese and European descent falls in love with a married American correspondent in Hong Kong during China's Communist revolution.

Directors:

Henry King, Otto Lang (uncredited)

Writers:

John Patrick (screenplay), Han Suyin (novel)
Reviews
Won 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Holden ... Mark Elliott
Jennifer Jones ... Dr. Han Suyin
Torin Thatcher ... Humphrey Palmer-Jones
Isobel Elsom ... Adeline Palmer-Jones
Murray Matheson ... Dr. John Keith
Virginia Gregg ... Anne Richards
Richard Loo ... Robert Hung
Soo Yong ... Nora Hung
Philip Ahn ... Third Uncle
Jorja Curtright ... Suzanne
Donna Martell ... Suchen, Suyin's sister
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Storyline

In Hong Kong in 1949, Mark Elliott is an American reporter covering the Chinese civil war. Undergoing a trial separation from his wife, he meets the beautiful Dr. Han Suyin, a widowed physician from mainland China. As the pair fall in love, they encounter disapproval from both her family and his friends about their interracial romance. Although the film was a commercial success upon release, the casting of Jones in an Asian role has since been criticized. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She was Han Suyin, the fascinating Eurasian. He was Mark Elliot, American correspondent... In each other's arms... they found a love that defied 5000 years of tradition! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Song, and Best Cinematography (Color), and Best Costume Design (Color). See more »

Goofs

When Mark is at war writing and a butterfly lands on his typewriter, the close-up of the page clearly shows he was writing to inform her that her "twenty-third letter has arrived". In a scene not long after, the letter has reached her and as she reads, his voice-over differs, saying her "eighth and ninth letters have arrived". A line about his bottom hurting from bouncing around in jeeps matches both letters. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Han Suyin: I will make no mistakes in the name of loneliness. I have my work and an uncomplicated life. I don't want to feel anything again... ever.
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Connections

Featured in Hope Floats (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Music by Sammy Fain
Performed by Chorus
See more »

User Reviews

 
Chinese Proverbs, knowing butterflies, fortunes told...nothing can stop fate!
28 June 2008 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Han Suyin's autobiographical novel "A Many-Splendored Thing" becomes glossy, unconvincingly clean and luxurious romance set in Hong Kong, 1949, wherein a widowed female doctor of Chinese-English descent falls for an American correspondent stuck in a loveless marriage. John Patrick adapted Suyin's story, apparently turning her heartfelt remembrances into swooning romantic dross complete with poor dialogue exchanges (He: "I can't believe you're a doctor." .. She: "Too bad we don't have a scalpel, I could make a small incision."). Dark-haired, pale-skinned Jennifer Jones meets handsome, smiling William Holden at a party and immediately feigns indignance, as if widowed women bury their sexuality (or feel they must appear to) once a man takes an interest in them. Henry King directs the proceedings with a gentle touch, bringing it all to a misty-eyed flourish, yet Jones' character is never an embraceable one. Constantly referring to her heritage (and the fact she's "Eurasian"), this lady is forthright in all the wrong ways (she'd be more likely to turn off Holden's reporter rather than keep him around). Jones (who got an Oscar nomination) and Holden do create a loving rapport which becomes sweeter once Jennifer loosens up. This hard-working woman curiously puts a great deal of stock into superstitions (omens, Proverbs, butterflies), which seems out of step with such a no-nonsense lady; the sequence where she travels back home to Chunking to visit relatives is also odd (it doesn't take shape, it just appears as though she's running away). Holden performs in a low, easy key and glides through rather unperturbed (nothing ruffles this guy, but there's nothing to explain his devotion either; the man is obviously touched by this woman, but that doesn't tell us much about him). Alfred Newman's Oscar-winning music (and the memorable, Oscar-winning theme song by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster) are lovely, and the locations are gorgeous, though the obvious studio shots are too tidy--even the hospital where Jones works seems overly opulent. A nice-enough weeper for soap fans, though one without the substance to entice a wider audience. **1/2 from ****


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

26 September 1955 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,780,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording) (optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording) (magnetic prints)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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