China (1943)

78 mins | Drama | 1943

Director:

John Farrow

Writer:

Frank Butler

Cinematographer:

Leo Tover

Editor:

Eda Warren

Production Designers:

Hans Dreier, Robert Usher

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Fourth Brother . A Sep 1942 studio synopsis includes the following plot description: After her rape, "Tan Ying" drowns herself, and later the characters "Kwan Su" and "Lin Cho" marry, but are killed by the avalanche. It has not been determined if these scenes, which were not in the released film, were ever shot. According to HR , Helen Gin-Chiu-Kuo, who is listed in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library as a Chinese hair consultant, was a Chinese journalist and book author. Madeline Chang, the daughter of diplomat Henry K. Chang, was tested for a role in the picture. According to information in the Paramount Collection, a Chinese song called "Work as One" is used as background music in the film, but the composers have not been identified. Alan Ladd and photographer Leo Tover were inducted into the Army after completing work on China . Some scenes were shot on location in Apache Trail and Phoenix, AZ and in San Gabriel Canyon, Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, and Big Tujunga in CA. Ladd, Loretta Young, William Bendix and Philip Ahn reprised their roles in a 22 Nov 1943 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Fourth Brother . A Sep 1942 studio synopsis includes the following plot description: After her rape, "Tan Ying" drowns herself, and later the characters "Kwan Su" and "Lin Cho" marry, but are killed by the avalanche. It has not been determined if these scenes, which were not in the released film, were ever shot. According to HR , Helen Gin-Chiu-Kuo, who is listed in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library as a Chinese hair consultant, was a Chinese journalist and book author. Madeline Chang, the daughter of diplomat Henry K. Chang, was tested for a role in the picture. According to information in the Paramount Collection, a Chinese song called "Work as One" is used as background music in the film, but the composers have not been identified. Alan Ladd and photographer Leo Tover were inducted into the Army after completing work on China . Some scenes were shot on location in Apache Trail and Phoenix, AZ and in San Gabriel Canyon, Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, and Big Tujunga in CA. Ladd, Loretta Young, William Bendix and Philip Ahn reprised their roles in a 22 Nov 1943 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
May 43
p. 175.
Box Office
1 May 1943.
---
Daily Variety
22 Mar 43
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Mar 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Nov 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Mar 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 43
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
20 Mar 43
p. 18.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
27 Mar 43
p. 1226.
New York Times
22 Apr 43
p. 31.
Variety
24 Mar 43
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
2d unit asst dir
2d unit asst dir
2d unit asst dir
2d unit asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
Asst to 2d cam
First cam of 2d unit
2d unit cam
2d unit op cam
2d unit asst cam
2d unit asst cam
2d unit still cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Supv set dresser
Props [
Props
Props
2d unit props
2d unit props
Prop shop
2d unit prop shop
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Dir of makeup
Makeup artist
Makeup artist of 2d unit
Makeup artist of 2d unit
Hair supv
Tech dir for Chinese women's hair
2d unit hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Casting dir
Loc mgr
Unit mgr
2d unit mgr
Asst prod mgr
Dial coach
Scr clerk
2d unit scr clerk
2d unit scr clerk
Grip
STAND INS
Stunt double for William Bendix
Stunt double for Alan Ladd
Stunt double for Marianne Quon
Stunts
Stunts
Stand-in for William Bendix
Stand-in for William Bendix
Stand-in for Loretta Young
Stand-in for Alan Ladd
Stand-in for Sen Yung
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on a play by Archibald Forbes (unproduced).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Fourth Brother
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 20 April 1943
Production Date:
26 October 1942--11 January 1943
addl scenes and retakes: 14 January 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
19 March 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12082
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
78
Length(in feet):
7,878
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

In 1941, in Mei-Ki, China, war profiteer David Jones narrowly escapes with his life when Chinese Captain Tao-Yuan-Kai arrests him for selling oil to the Japanese but releases him because he is American. Japanese planes bomb the town, and Jones drives toward Shanghai with his partner, Johnny Sparrow, who has brought with him an orphaned baby boy. After nightfall, they are forced to stop because Chinese refugees crowd the road and beat the Americans until Carolyn Grant, an American schoolteacher born in China, tells them to stop. Carolyn sneaks her group of female college students into the back of Jones's truck and insists that Jones proceed without headlights because they might be sighted by Japanese bombers. As she has an intimate knowledge of the local terrain, Carolyn takes over driving the truck, and has her friend, Lin Wei, sit on the hood to watch for potholes. When Jones realizes that Carolyn has loaded his truck with refugees, he ruthlessly starts to throw them out, fearing that the extra load will use up the gas he needs to get to Shanghai, but relents when he learns that the students are young women. Along the road the next day, they encounter Lin Wei's first and second brothers, Lin Cho and Lin Yun, who have formed a guerrilla band and are posing as peasants. Lin Cho warns them to take an alternate road, as the Japanese are approaching, and Jones reluctantly heads the truck to the family farm of Tan Ying, a girl he tried to throw off the truck. At the farm, Carolyn tries again to persuade Jones to take the students to Chungtu, where they ... +


In 1941, in Mei-Ki, China, war profiteer David Jones narrowly escapes with his life when Chinese Captain Tao-Yuan-Kai arrests him for selling oil to the Japanese but releases him because he is American. Japanese planes bomb the town, and Jones drives toward Shanghai with his partner, Johnny Sparrow, who has brought with him an orphaned baby boy. After nightfall, they are forced to stop because Chinese refugees crowd the road and beat the Americans until Carolyn Grant, an American schoolteacher born in China, tells them to stop. Carolyn sneaks her group of female college students into the back of Jones's truck and insists that Jones proceed without headlights because they might be sighted by Japanese bombers. As she has an intimate knowledge of the local terrain, Carolyn takes over driving the truck, and has her friend, Lin Wei, sit on the hood to watch for potholes. When Jones realizes that Carolyn has loaded his truck with refugees, he ruthlessly starts to throw them out, fearing that the extra load will use up the gas he needs to get to Shanghai, but relents when he learns that the students are young women. Along the road the next day, they encounter Lin Wei's first and second brothers, Lin Cho and Lin Yun, who have formed a guerrilla band and are posing as peasants. Lin Cho warns them to take an alternate road, as the Japanese are approaching, and Jones reluctantly heads the truck to the family farm of Tan Ying, a girl he tried to throw off the truck. At the farm, Carolyn tries again to persuade Jones to take the students to Chungtu, where they can continue their studies, rather than Japanese-occupied Shanghai, but Jones is unconcerned with the struggle of the Chinese, and refuses. After Johnny leaves the baby, whom he has dubbed "Donald Duck," with Tan Ying's family for safekeeping, the journey resumes. They are forced to abandon the truck when Japanese planes strafe the road, but Lin Cho and his compatriots shoot the plane down. When Carolyn discovers that Tan Ying has slipped off the bus to rejoin her family, she insists on returning for her. While the rest of the group hikes to a monastery, Jones and Carolyn drive back to the farm and are shocked to find that the Japanese have burned the farm, and murdered Tan Ying's parents and Donald Duck. Jones then finds three Japanese soldiers raping Tan Ying, and shoots them without hesitation, while Carolyn comforts the hysterical woman. After the group takes refuge in the monastery, Tan Ying dies. Finally cognizant of the nature of the Chinese struggle, Jones is now inspired to join the fight against the Japanese, and offers his help to the three brothers. They determine that they must close a mountain pass in order to prevent the further onslaught of the Japanese, but only the Japanese army has the necessary dynamite. That night, Jones, Johnny, Lin Wei, Lin Cho and Lin Yun swim across a river to raid a Japanese encampment and steal the dynamite. When their presence is detected, a fierce gun battle ensues, during which Lin Wei, and all but two other guerrillas, are killed. Before he dies, Lin Wei honors Jones by calling him his "fourth brother." That night, Carolyn rejects Johnny's marriage proposal because she is in love with Jones, and later, the new lovers Jones and Carolyn spend a final night together. The next day, the small band of fighters places the dynamite along the mountain pass road. When the Japanese convoy appears early, Jones stops them on the road to give the guerrillas time to lay the dynamite, and pretends that he is stranded. The Japanese general explains to Jones that Japan has just bombed Pearl Harbor in the United States, and that their intention is to create a new world order. After the general's second-in-command shoots Jones, the Chinese set off the dynamite causing an avalanche that buries the Japanese troops, and closes the road. Carolyn and Johnny mourn the loss of their friend as they drive the students to Chungtu. +

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.