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See China and Die (1981)

A maid who reads detective stories finds herself embroiled in a real life mystery involving her dead boss and a mysterious statue he brought back from China.

Director:

Larry Cohen

Writer:

Larry Cohen
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Esther Rolle ... Momma Sykes
Kene Holiday ... Sgt. Alvin Sykes (as Kene Holliday)
Frank Converse ... Tom Hackman
Paul Dooley ... Ames Prescott
Andrew Duggan ... Edwin Forbes
Laurence Luckinbill ... Dr. Glickman (as Lawrence G. Luckinbill)
Jean Marsh ... Sally Hackman
Fritz Weaver ... Poston
Jane Hitchcock Jane Hitchcock ... Ruth
Claude Brooks Claude Brooks ... Jessie Sykes
William Walker II William Walker II ... Andy Sykes
Miguel Pinero Miguel Pinero ... Gonzalez
Jack Straw Jack Straw ... Norman
Arthur French Arthur French ... Rib Man
James Dukas James Dukas ... Transplant
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Storyline

A maid who reads detective stories finds herself embroiled in a real life mystery involving her dead boss and a mysterious statue he brought back from China. Written by Mike Justice <Fergus21@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 January 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Momma the Detective See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Big Hit Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Esther Rolle, Estelle Evans and Rosanna Carter are all sisters to one another. See more »

Quotes

[Mama Sykes and her son are talking at the police station]
Sgt. Alvin Sykes: I'm worried about you, mama.
Momma Sykes: NOBODY'S gonna kill ME! Your father tried that a couple times and even he couldn't do it.
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User Reviews

Esther Rolle - A Great Actress
4 December 1998 | by Ralph McKnightSee all my reviews

"See China, And Die" starring Miss Esther Rolle. I loved her. She recently died and I was very sad - mixed emotions surrounded me as I thought back to seeing Miss Rolle on the screen, both tv and in the movies. She was a wonderful actress.

Her starring role in the long running series, "Good Times," gave me many years of entertainment. She was a strong, concerned mother, who loved her children and an excellent wife who stood by her husband, who faced racism, joblessness and frustration in white America. Rolle gave pathos and exhilaration to her role as "Florida" in this series.

When I saw, "See China, And Die" on tv, Rolle made me love her more. She was playing a maid again, but this time, an amateur detective who was trying to solve the case of her murdered boss.

Her arrogance reminded me of an earlier movie maid, Hattie McDaniel, who, tho subservient, was a bold and earthy woman. Miss Rolle was the "maid" for several tenants in the building where her boss was killed. She solved the case despite the police and her policeman/detective son who tried unsuccessfully to quash her "work".

During the proceedings, Rolle almost got herself killed, but turned the tables on all suspects during a dinner revelation of the "real killer".

The picture was fun, because Esther Rolle brought her special quality, as an actress to the the role of "Mama". The New York locations added a touch of authenticity to the film.

I enjoyed many of the performances, especially Fritz Weaver, Paul Dooley and the rest of the cast.

Many people have caught this film on late night tv and enjoyed it, and then, putting ads in publications trying to find ANYone who had a copy of the film. They wanted to add it to their personal collections. I was lucky...I have a copy.


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