5.9/10
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9 user 7 critic

China Doll (1958)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 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 ... 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 | chess | brandy | china | captain | See All (24) »

Taglines:

The Great Adventure of the Flying Tiger ... and the girl he bought ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Borzage and Victor Mature set up a production company but this was the only movie they made together. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the movie the plane's tail number is backwards (mirror image). 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
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User Reviews

 
What kind of love can there be in wartime?
2 April 2021 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Obviously, Frank Borzage's "China Doll" is bound to be a little dated in terms of gender relations and race relations. Nonetheless, its depiction of the romance between a US pilot and a Chinese woman must've been bold for the era (remember that the Hays Code banned the portrayal of interracial relationships). It apparently wasn't the only movie depicting such a relationship, but you have to understand the era in which it got released.

The obvious unpleasant side is that the Chinese woman gets depicted as a lotus flower (a common stereotype). The recent murder of several Asian women in Atlanta has drawn attention to the fetishization of Asian women. As long as we understand the questionable portrayal, we can appreciate the movie. The entire cast puts on fine performances. I recommend the movie.


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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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