An Italian-American neighborhood in Louisiana is disturbed when truck driver Rosario Delle Rose is killed by police while smuggling. His buxom widow Serafina miscarries, then over a period ... See full summary »
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
Jennifer Jones, who was married to studio mogul David O. Selznick at the time of filming, complained constantly during the production, often yelling, "I'm going to tell David about this!" After complaining about William Holden, the two stars barely spoke to each other on the set. Finally, Holden tried to make peace, offering Jones a bouquet of white roses. She tossed them back in his face. See more »
The story takes place in 1949, but the aircraft that returns Mark to Hong Kong is Pan American World Airways N6535C, named "Clipper Mercury". It was a Douglas DC-6B, which entered service in 1952 and left service in 1961. See more »
Based on the 1952 autobiography "A Many-Splendoured Thing," "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing" (1955) tells the story of Han Suyin, focusing on the romance that Han, a widowed Eurasian doctor in 1949 Hong Kong, had with a married American correspondent named Mark Elliott. "I don't want to feel anything again, ever," Han tells Mark soon after they meet, but the two soon develop the mutual irresistibles for each other, and who can blame them? Mark is played by William Holden at the near peak of his hunky-dude period (the following year's "Picnic" would be the peak) in this, the first of three films over the next seven years that would find Holden in China (1960's "The World of Suzie Wong" and 1962's "Satan Never Sleeps" being the others). And Dr. Han is here played by Jennifer Jones, who, although not a Eurasian (unlike yummy Nancy Kwan and pretty France Nuyen of those other exotic Holden films), does a credible job of passing as one. Whether dressed in cheongsam, European frock, surgical gown or (hubba-hubba!) bathing suit, Jones looks ridiculously gorgeous here. No wonder East meets West in this film so dramatically! With its two appealing lead stars, breathtaking Hong Kong scenery, beautiful CinemaScope and color, Oscar-winning costumes and that classic, Oscar-winning title song that wafts through the film like a lovely incense, "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing" turns out to be quite the winning and romantic concoction. Han herself supposedly did not care for the picture, so I can only imagine that great liberties were taken with her source material. Still, I enjoyed it. And if the film's ending causes a tear to come to the eye, just remember Mark's words of wisdom: "Life's greatest tragedy is not to be loved."
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