China


1h 19m 1943

Brief Synopsis

Shortly before Pearl Harbor, American opportunist Jones and partner Johnny are in China to sell oil to the invading Japanese army. Cynical about the sufferings of the Chinese, Jones meets compassionate teacher Carolyn Grant while travelling cross-country to Shanghai. Sparks fly between these strong-willed characters, neither budging an inch. But when Jones witnesses a Japanese atrocity, his feelings toward his customers (and Carolyn) begin to change...

Film Details

Also Known As
The Fourth Brother
Release Date
Jan 1943
Premiere Information
New York premiere: 20 Apr 1943
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Apache Trail, Arizona, United States; Big Tujunga, California, United States; Chatsworth--Iverson Ranch, California, United States; Phoenix, Arizona, United States; San Gabriel Canyon, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on a play by Archibald Forbes (unproduced).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 19m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,878ft

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 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.

Crew

Richard Blumenthal

Associate Producer

W. Broadfoot

Props

Russ Brown

Props shop

Frank Butler

Screenwriter

Harry Caplan

2d unit Assistant Director

Tom Chauncey

Stunt double for Alan Ladd

Herb Coleman

2d unit Assistant Director

T. Coleman

Stand-in for William Bendix

Sam Comer

Supervisor set dresser

Jerry Cook

Props

Roger Creed

Stunts

Glen Daniels

2d unit props

Kenneth Deland

Unit Manager

George Dockstader

Stunts

Hans Dreier

Art Director

Jimmy Dundee

Stunt double for William Bendix

Farciot Edouart

Process Photography

Leslie Fong

Stand-in for Sen Yung

Harve Foster

Assistant Director

Helena Gin-chiu-kuo

Tech Director for Chinese women's hair

George Gottlieber

Grip

Bertram Granger

Set Decoration

Virginia Griffith

Stand-in for Loretta Young

Tom Hadley

Boom Operator

Hazel Haggerty

Wardrobe

Harry Hallenberger

First Camera of 2d unit

C. Harlinger

Makeup artist of 2d unit

Edith Head

Gowns

Peggy Higgins

Hair

G. Hirsch

Assistant to 2d Camera

Walter Hoffman

2d unit Props shop

Harry Hogan

2d unit Screenplay clerk

Wei F. Hsueh

Technical Advisor

Gordon Jennings

Special Photography Effects

Don Johnson

Sound Recording

Gana Jones

2d unit Screenplay clerk

H. Kessler

2d unit Assistant Director

Leroy Kreuger

Props [

Norman Lacey

Loc Manager

Art Lasky

2d unit Assistant Camera

Ernest Laszlo

2nd Camera

J. Lefert

2d Assistant Director

Sam Levine

Wardrobe

Eugene Liggett

2d unit Assistant Camera

Frank Lindsay Jr.

Props

Nellie Manley

Hair

Bob Mayo

Casting Director

Maudlee Mcdougall

2d unit hair

Ray Moyer

Set Decoration

Wallace Nogle

Sound Recording

C. Norton

Screenplay clerk

Harry Osborne

2d unit still Camera

D. Ottis

Stand-in for Alan Ladd

Webb Overlander

Makeup Artist

Edward Padula

Dial coach

Hal Pereira

Assistant art Director

Harry Perry

2d unit Camera

Floyd Pruitt

Stand-in for William Bendix

Edward J. Ralph

Assistant prod Manager

William Rand

2d unit op Camera

Roland Ray

Makeup artist of 2d unit

Don Robb

2d unit Manager

Oscar Rudolph

2d unit Assistant Director

Leonora Sabine

Hair Supervisor

Fred Schaeffer

Stunts

Everett Smith

Stunts

Leo Tover

Director of Photography

Fred True

Grip

Robert Usher

Art Director

Hal Walker

2nd Unit Director

Eda Warren

Editing

Jerry Welch

2d unit props

Wally Westmore

Director of makeup

Ethel Wong

Stunt double for Marianne Quon

Murray Young

Grip

Victor Young

Music Score

Film Details

Also Known As
The Fourth Brother
Release Date
Jan 1943
Premiere Information
New York premiere: 20 Apr 1943
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Apache Trail, Arizona, United States; Big Tujunga, California, United States; Chatsworth--Iverson Ranch, California, United States; Phoenix, Arizona, United States; San Gabriel Canyon, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on a play by Archibald Forbes (unproduced).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 19m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,878ft

Quotes

I knew a girl like you once. She had an act in a circus. Used to crack a whip and make lions jump through paper hoops.
- Mr. Jones
And you prefer the lipstick sort, huh?
- Carolyn Grant
Yes, mostly because I don't like jumping through paper hoops.
- Mr. Jones

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was The Fourth Brother. A September 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 Hollywood Reporter, 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 November 22, 1943 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States June 10, 1997

Released in United States on Video June 10, 1997

b&w

Released in United States June 10, 1997

Released in United States on Video June 10, 1997