China Seas (1935)

Passed   |    |  Action, Adventure, Drama


China Seas (1935) Poster

When earthy Dolly Portland is rejected by Captain Gaskell in favor of a socialite, she aids Jamesy McCardle, in league with Malay pirates, in his plot to seize his ship.


6.9/10
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  • Robert Benchley in China Seas (1935)
  • China Seas (1935)
  • Clark Gable in "China Seas," 1935.
  • Clark Gable and Jean Harlow in China Seas (1935)
  • Clark Gable and Jean Harlow in China Seas (1935)
  • Wallace Beery and Jean Harlow in China Seas (1935)

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14 November 2012 | robertguttman
8
| Red Dust meets Grand Hotel
China Seas is a sort of follow-up to Red Dust, with the addition of the sort of all-star cast pioneered in Grand Hotel, only set on board a passenger ship instead of in a hotel. As in Red Dust, the central plot element involves a triangle featuring Clark Gable and Jean Harlow. However, this time the hypotenuse is occupied by Rosalind Russel rather than Mary Astor.

By the time China Seas was produced the infamous Hayes Office was already busily enforcing standards of decency in the film industry. Consequently, the action is a good deal less steamy than in Red Dust. Nevertheless, the Gable-Harlow chemistry is still very much in evidence, even if their byplay has been somewhat toned-down.

Another major element of the plot involves piracy against modern (1930s) shipping in the Far East. Some viewers might find that notion a bit far-fetched. However, it is far less absurd than one might think. In fact, it is still going on today (2012)!

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