7.1/10
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34 user 67 critic

The Children of Huang Shi (2008)

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About young British journalist, George Hogg, who with the assistance of a courageous Australian nurse, saves a group of orphaned children during the Japanese occupation of China in 1937.

Director:

Roger Spottiswoode
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ... George Hogg
Radha Mitchell ... Lee Pearson
Yun-Fat Chow ... Jack (Chen Hansheng)
Michelle Yeoh ... Mrs. Wang
Guang Li Guang Li ... Shi-Kai
Ji Lin Ji Lin ... Horse Rider
Matthew Walker ... Andy Fisher
Anastasia Kolpakova Anastasia Kolpakova ... Duschka
Ping Su Ping Su ... Eddie Wei
Imai Hideaki Imai Hideaki ... Japanese Officer
Seiichiro Hashimoto Seiichiro Hashimoto ... Urbane Japanese Officer (as Sciichiro Hashimoto)
Shinichi Takashima Shinichi Takashima ... Hostile Kempetai Officer
Xing Mang Xing Mang ... Young Communist
Ruixiang Zhu Ruixiang Zhu ... Japanese Officer II
Yuelong Fang Yuelong Fang ... Rou Ding
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

War made them orphans, one man made them legends

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing and violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [China] | See more »

Country:

Australia | China | Germany | USA

Language:

English | Japanese | Mandarin

Release Date:

13 June 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los niños de China See more »

Filming Locations:

Chedun Studios, Shanghai, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,760, 25 May 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,027,749, 12 October 2008
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

About 10,000 extras were hired. See more »

Goofs

When Hogg photographs the Japanese soldiers rounding up the Chinese civilians from the first floor window overlooking the scene, many of the shots, and the black & white prints later produced by the Japanese officer are clearly taken with a telephoto lens. Hogg's range finder 35mm camera was not fitted with a telephoto lens. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
George Hogg: Shoot some hoops?
Andy Fisher: No thanks. I have to save my strength, I'm getting married on Tuesday.
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Soundtracks

Ji Wei Qia Qia
Written by Min Yao and Di-Yi Chen (as Di Y Chen)
©1955 EMI Music Publishing Hong Kong
All Rights Admin & Licensed by EMI Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Where do the children play?
8 June 2008 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. It is difficult to imagine a more powerful, emotional story than the real life heroism of George Hogg. He was a British journalist who truly saved the life and dreams of 60 war Chinese war orphans during the 1937 invasion by Japan.

The good news is that the story is remarkable, but the downside is how director Roger Spottiswoode ("Tomorrow Never Dies", "Turner and Hooch") is stuck with two miscast leads. Jonathan Rhys Meyers doesn't have the chops to pull off strength of Hogg and much worse is the downright horrible performance of Radha Mitchell as Lee, the war hardened do-gooder. The combination of these two severely weaken the film, but luckily not the story.

Chow Yun-Fat and the great Michelle Yeoh play important supporting roles and both are excellent in their English speaking parts. Both are masters at letting simple facial gestures express the bulk of their thoughts. The children in the film are a pleasure to watch, though, we really don't connect with any of them.

Some of the landscape is beautifully film and Spottiswoode does a good job of portraying the hardships of the 700 mile Silk Road journey, without it dragging the pace down. Again, the power of this story is unmistakable, but it is certainly not given its due by this rendition. Make sure to stay for the credits as we are treated to first hand memories of some of the surviving children (now very adavanced in age, but extremely lucid).


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