All her life Englishwoman Gladys Aylward knew that China was the place where she belonged. Not qualified to be sent there as a missionary, Gladys works as a domestic to earn the money to send herself to a poor, remote village. There she eventually lives a full and happy life: running the inn, acting as "foot inspector", advising the local Mandarin. and even winning the heart of mixed-race Captain Lin Nan. But Gladys discovers her real destiny when the country is invaded by Japan and the Chinese children need her to save their lives.Written by
According to director Mark Robson, Robert Donat kept working until the end, although he was very ill. After finishing the dubbing, Robson urged him to go home, but Donat wanted to get a haircut from the studio barber. The next day he was taken to the hospital for the last time. See more »
The cook speaks Cantonese, a dialect from the Southern part of China. The other Chinese actors in the movie speak Mandarin. See more »
My name is Gladys Aylward. I've written to the head of the missionary society. His reply stated that he'd see me if I ever came to London. If he's busy, I can wait.
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The opening title card reads: "This story is based upon the life of Gladys Aylward, a woman of our time, who was, and is dedicated to the simple, joyful and rare belief that we are all responsible for each other." See more »
I show this film in my classes on leadership. Though some may find it "corny" or condescending, it is a fine and "human" portrayal of how stubbornness, faith, and a sense of justice can lead one toward great acts of courage. It's also simply an extremely interesting story. I understand that the real Gladys Aylward, on whose life the film is based, was embarrassed by the fictional "love story" portion of the film. I'm not sure why I read so many negative reactions to the film. The depictions of how Aylward inspires those around her are timeless. The three main actors, Ingrid Bergman, Robert Donat, and Kurt Jurgens, put in excellent and nuanced performances. Ms. Bergman is at her most beautiful in this film, conveying so much meaning simply with a glance. My Chinese students tend to like the film very much. Perhaps the finest scene occurs when Jen Ai (Aylward's Chinese name in the film) goes to the village to persuade the mothers to unbind their daughters' feet. So many of my students didn't even know about this cruel practice.
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