China's Little Devils (1945)

74-75 mins | Drama | 27 May 1945

Director:

Monta Bell

Producer:

Grant Withers

Cinematographer:

Harry Neumann

Production Designer:

Ernest R. Hickson

Production Company:

Monogram Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Little Devils . The MPH review notes that the film is introduced by a narrator and is "based on facts." According to a May 1944 LAEx item, the picture was to be made with "the aid and cooperation of the Chinese government," and was to feature a foreword by Madame Chiang Kai-Shek. Madame Chiang's contribution to the completed film, if any, has not been confirmed, however. News items announced that the picture was to have its world premiere in Washington, D.C., with the "diplomatic corps," but no information confirming this premiere was found. Dick Chang and DiDi Chang, the son of H. H. Chang, a former ambassador to Poland, were announced as cast members in Jul 1944 HR news items, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to War Department, Bureau of Public Relations records, stock shots from the Department's 1944 documentary The Battle of China (see above entry) were used in the picture. War Department records also indicate that a mock-up of a B-17 was filmed at the Army Air Force First Motion Picture Unit in Culver City, CA. This film marked the producing debut of longtime actor Grant ... More Less

The working title of this film was Little Devils . The MPH review notes that the film is introduced by a narrator and is "based on facts." According to a May 1944 LAEx item, the picture was to be made with "the aid and cooperation of the Chinese government," and was to feature a foreword by Madame Chiang Kai-Shek. Madame Chiang's contribution to the completed film, if any, has not been confirmed, however. News items announced that the picture was to have its world premiere in Washington, D.C., with the "diplomatic corps," but no information confirming this premiere was found. Dick Chang and DiDi Chang, the son of H. H. Chang, a former ambassador to Poland, were announced as cast members in Jul 1944 HR news items, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to War Department, Bureau of Public Relations records, stock shots from the Department's 1944 documentary The Battle of China (see above entry) were used in the picture. War Department records also indicate that a mock-up of a B-17 was filmed at the Army Air Force First Motion Picture Unit in Culver City, CA. This film marked the producing debut of longtime actor Grant Withers. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 May 1945.
---
Daily Variety
30 Apr 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 May 45
p. 10.
Harrison's Reports
7 Apr 45
p. 55.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 44
p. 16, 18
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 44
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jul 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 45
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
11 May 1944.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
15 Jul 44
p. 1994.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 May 45
pp. 2433-34.
The Exhibitor
18 Apr 45
pp. 1697-98.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story and scr
Based on an idea by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dir
SOUND
Sd eng
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech research
Interpreter
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Little Devils
Release Date:
27 May 1945
Production Date:
30 June--early August 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 March 1945
Copyright Number:
LP13252
Duration(in mins):
74-75
Length(in feet):
6,710
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10424
SYNOPSIS

After Big Butch Dooley, a Flying Tiger, lands his P-40 plane in the ruins of a Chinese village, he rescues a wounded boy, who has been orphaned by the war, and takes him back to his unit. The child is adopted by the Flying Tiger group and taught commando tactics. Eventually, however, Big Butch and the other Tigers realize that the boy, now called Little Butch Dooley, needs a proper education and send him to the Temple Missionary School, which is operated by the kindly Doc Temple, under the still neutral American flag. While there, Little Butch organizes the other refugee children and trains them in guerrilla warfare. In spite of Doc's pleas, the orphans steal away from the mission at night in order to prey on the Japanese. During one of their forays, the children, dubbed "The Little Devils," secure a large store of Japanese gasoline for the Flying Tigers. Although Little Butch is wounded during the raid, he continues to lead his group, until two of them are taken prisoner while blowing up a Japanese supply base. When Doc pleads with a Japanese officer for their release, he learns about the attack on Pearl Harbor and is told that, as he is now the enemy, he, too, will be taken prisoner. Through a scheme devised by Little Butch, Doc is rescued, and soon after, the Japanese bomb the mission. Later, an American plane crashes, and the Little Devils race with the Japanese to reach the wreck. The Little Devils find the American plane first and are surprised to discover that the pilot is Big Butch. After treating Big ... +


After Big Butch Dooley, a Flying Tiger, lands his P-40 plane in the ruins of a Chinese village, he rescues a wounded boy, who has been orphaned by the war, and takes him back to his unit. The child is adopted by the Flying Tiger group and taught commando tactics. Eventually, however, Big Butch and the other Tigers realize that the boy, now called Little Butch Dooley, needs a proper education and send him to the Temple Missionary School, which is operated by the kindly Doc Temple, under the still neutral American flag. While there, Little Butch organizes the other refugee children and trains them in guerrilla warfare. In spite of Doc's pleas, the orphans steal away from the mission at night in order to prey on the Japanese. During one of their forays, the children, dubbed "The Little Devils," secure a large store of Japanese gasoline for the Flying Tigers. Although Little Butch is wounded during the raid, he continues to lead his group, until two of them are taken prisoner while blowing up a Japanese supply base. When Doc pleads with a Japanese officer for their release, he learns about the attack on Pearl Harbor and is told that, as he is now the enemy, he, too, will be taken prisoner. Through a scheme devised by Little Butch, Doc is rescued, and soon after, the Japanese bomb the mission. Later, an American plane crashes, and the Little Devils race with the Japanese to reach the wreck. The Little Devils find the American plane first and are surprised to discover that the pilot is Big Butch. After treating Big Butch's wounds, the Little Devils help him cross a river and return safely to the Chinese lines. As the boys are escaping, however, a Japanese patrol converges on them, and they sacrifice their lives while shooting it out with the enemy. Sometime later, the spirit of Little Butch rides on a bomber with Big Butch, as he drops a cargo of explosives on Tokyo. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.