People thrown into an unexpected and desperate situation discover their capacity for love and responsibility. A young Englishman, George Hogg, comes to lead sixty orphaned boys on a journey of over 500 perilous miles across the snow-bound Liu Pan Shan mountains to safety on the edge of the Mongolian desert. And how, in doing so, he comes to understand the meaning of courage. During his journey, Hogg learns to rely on the support of Chen, the leader of a Chinese communist partisan group who becomes his closest friend. He soon finds himself falling in love with Lee, a recklessly brave Australian nurse whom war has turned into an unsentimental healer on horseback. Along the way Hogg befriends Madame Wang, an aristocratic survivor who has also been displaced by war, who helps the young Englishman, his friends and their sixty war orphans make their way across mountain and desert regions to a place of safety near the western end of the Great Wall of China.Written by
Good but not great story of a man saving children in time of war
Film version of the life of George Hogg. Hogg was a British national who went to China during the Rape of Nanking as a reporter and ended up taking care of a bunch of orphans in the face of Japanese barbarity on the Chinese people.
The version I saw was dubbed completely in Chinese and had English subtitles. As it stands now its a good but rather standard film about a man who tried to do something in the face of war. The film stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Hogg. He's fine, but I don't think he's given much to do since much of the action seems to be reduced to cliché, even the romance with the broken Australian nurse has the feeling of been there. Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yoeh have small but important roles (respectively) as a general who befriends Hogg and a black marketeer who helps him. I liked it but didn't love it (its one of those films thats "almost.." but isn't and falls between the cracks). Perhaps because of the possibly bad subtitles or more likely the clichéd script the under appreciated Roger Spottiswoode used just isn't great. This isn't to say there aren't a couple of great set pieces, there are, the attack on the train in particular, but its not enough to raise the film from the near great to the great, or from nearly very good to very good. It just sort of misses. The just sort of misses feeling was re-enforced after I read some pieces on line which gives more details on the real George Hogg (He needs a miniseries about his life not two hour film) 6ish out of 10
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