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China Doll (1958)

Approved | | Drama, War, Romance | 3 December 1958 (USA)
American pilot Cliff Brandon, fighting the Japanese in China, finds himself the unintentional "owner" of a Chinese housekeeper, Shu-Jen. The unlikely couple falls in love and marries, but not without tragedy brought on by the war.

Director:

Frank Borzage

Writers:

Kitty Buhler (screenplay), James Benson Nablo (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Victor Mature ... Capt. Cliff Brandon
Li Hua Li ... Shu-Jen
Ward Bond ... Father Cairns
Bob Mathias ... Capt. Phil Gates
Johnny Desmond Johnny Desmond ... Sgt. Steve Hill
Stuart Whitman ... Lt. Dan O'Neill
Elaine Devry ... Alice Nichols (as Elaine Curtis)
Ann McCrea Ann McCrea ... Mona Perkins
Danny Chang Danny Chang ... Ellington
Denver Pyle ... Col. Wiley
Don 'Red' Barry ... MSgt. Hal Foster (as Donald Barry)
Tige Andrews ... Cpl. Carlo Menotti
Steve Mitchell Steve Mitchell ... Dave Reisner
Ken Perry Ken Perry ... Sgt. Ernie Fleming
Ann Paige Ann Paige ... Sally
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Storyline

In China gruff Air Force captain Cliff Brandon wakes up after a night of drinking to discover he has purchased the housekeeping services of comely, young Shu-Jen from her father. Disappointed by Cliff's insistence on staying out late in bars, Shu-Jen leaves for home when Cliff, made aware that she is carrying her child, finds her and marries her in a delightful traditional Chinese ceremony. Happy days are spent as Shu-Jen and her infant daughter join Cliff at a forward base until Cliff, returning from a supply-drop mission, hears the base is under attack by Japanese bombers. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

pilot | china | captain | air force | asian | See All (22) »

Taglines:

From Kunming to Calcutta...from the Himalayas to Hell...Of the Sky Devil...And his Fiery, Fragile China Doll! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Chinese

Release Date:

3 December 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Frank Borzage's China Doll See more »

Filming Locations:

Saugus, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Victor Mature's salary was $125,000. See more »

Goofs

China Burma India (CBI) patch is on the wrong sleeve for a few of the actors - should always be on the left sleeve. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Way We Live (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Suppose
Words and Music by 'By' Dunham (as By Dunham) and Henry Vars
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kind of sappy.
23 October 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

in beginning, C-47 went from silver with post-war markings to olive with mid-WWII markings.

Batjak--John Wayne's production company interesting to hear Denver Pyle without his put-on Southern accent 86 minute mark--totally random stock footage of airplanes inserted "China Doll" is not a terrible film but it certainly leaves a lot to be desired--particularly if you like war films or know much about WWII airplanes. It's sad, as with a few changes and a better ending, it could have been satisfying.

The film begins in China during WWII. A group of American servicemen are responsible for flying 'the hump'--a journey from India to China to provide war materials for the fight against the Japanese. Victor Mature plays a captain who spends his time flying and drinking. Duirng one of his drinking spells, however, he accidentally purchases a woman. More specifically, she becomes a short-term indentured servant to him. Although it does not happen for some time, you know pretty much that the two will be in love by the end of the film. However, this is a film with LOTS of complications for their love--and the ending certainly won't satisfy romance lovers! See the film and you'll understand.

For me, the sappy and sickly sweet (and difficult to believe) romance was not the major problem. Being a retired history teacher and airplane buff, I was really annoyed by the sloppiness of the use of stock footage of airplanes and air battles. Too often, they were just randomly tossed in and seemed to have no rhyme or reason. In some cases, it was really pretty funny, as the C-47 transport at the beginning of the movie is painted in silver--and it lands painted all in olive drab! Other times, plane types simply change in mid-air! It's all pretty irritating and even non-purists like myself will notice. Sloppy and a film you could easily skip.


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