61 user 12 critic

High Road to China (1983)

During WW1, an alcoholic American biplane pilot is hired by the spoiled daughter of an industrialist to find her father who disappeared in Asia.


Brian G. Hutton


Jon Cleary (novel), Sandra Weintraub (screenplay) (as Sandra Weintraub Roland) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Selleck ... Patrick O' Malley
Bess Armstrong ... Eve
Jack Weston ... Struts
Wilford Brimley ... Bradley Tozer
Robert Morley ... Bentik
Brian Blessed ... Suleman Khan
Cassandra Gava ... Alessa
Michael Sheard ... Charlie
Lynda La Plante ... Lina (as Lynda Marchal)
Timothy Carlton ... Officer
Shayur Mehta Shayur Mehta ... Ahmed
Terry Richards ... Ginger
Jeremy Child ... Silversmith
Peter Llewellyn Williams Peter Llewellyn Williams ... Franjten Khan
Dino Shafeek ... Satvinda (as Dino Shaffer)
Learn more

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A biplane pilot is saddled with a spoiled industrialist's daughter on a search for her missing father through Asia that eventually involves them in a struggle against a Chinese warlord. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Tom Selleck takes you on a high adventure! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The make and models of the three bi-planes in the film were all vintage Belgian-designed French-built Stampe SV4C aircraft that were built after World War II though in the film the planes portray World War I era bi-planes. See more »


In the scene where they escape from the Arab camp, a young Arab man claims he will kill himself if she leaves. Eve screams... well, originally it was just "Men!" and he lips clearly say more. But the sound is blanked out. Otherwise, I guess it would have been a 15! See more »


Suleman Khan: You refuse me?
Patrick O' Malley: If I do?
Suleman Khan: [bursts out laughing] You will not live to see the dawn!
See more »


Featured in Never Tell Me Never (1998) See more »


Oh When the Saints
[Heard on a gramophone in Nepalese village]
See more »

User Reviews

Good old fashioned romantic adventure
25 August 2008 | by BlueghostSee all my reviews

The last of a great breed. This is truly one of the last of the great classic films, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Simply put, films like this are a thing of the past, as has been shown in the last twenty years. They appeal to too narrow an audience by today's corporate marketing genius's standards (heavy sarcasm), and because of the cross market appeal this film has, it's guaranteed to be a box-office bust (again, buy today's standards).

Technically; the Kahn sequence seemed a touch slow and contrived, as well as the British army sequence and some of the other character oriented scenes, but still necessary. Regardless, the camera work, locations and art direction are top notch. Good stunts, excellent flying sequences, and, most importantly of all, there's no CGI to ruin the movie. Heck, there aren't even miniatures in this film! Everything you see in this film IS REAL. Aeroplanes, explosions, sets, locations, the whole shootin-match. :-) (so to speak).

No awards will be won by any single actor, actress or crew member. But, as a whole, this is a spectacular film that I really want for my DVD collection. Regrettably the only version available to us in the United States is the one provided on Youtube.

Romantic and adventurous settings, locations and story makes this one not to miss. Sellick and Armstrong definitely sync well together on screen.

*RESCREENED JAN 10th, 2010* My new title; "Indiana Jones Grows Up"

I got my DVD of this film a few days ago, and popped it into my region 2 player after work. All I can say is I'm truly glad I have this in my collection, and I think I appreciate the film now more than ever. What we have here is the bratty socialite connecting with the hero-has-been who's never grown up. She's a socialite aviatrix with womanly wiles, while he's the rugged man of the world, but prefers to stay in his immature mold and lost to the world. Both have lessons to teach one another, and it pays off. I find it a heart warming film that I think couples true of heart to another can share and enjoy.

Regrettably my region 2 DVD is not letter boxed, and the transfer, though respectable, is not what it could have been. Still, it's the only game in town as far a DVD version of this film goes, and I'm okay with that. Though shame on the powers that be for not making this film a priority for market.

Well, I don't have too much more to say other than I'm going to watch it again. :-)


*EDIT JULY 10th, 2012* I got a brand new letterboxed and remastered DVD from Hen's Tooth Video. A fantastic transfer. Excellent quality. Many kudos to the people at Hen's Tooth. The film looks better than ever before. Pick up a copy today.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | Yugoslavia | Hong Kong


English | German

Release Date:

18 March 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cesta do Cíny See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,156,049, 20 March 1983

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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