The General Died at Dawn (1936)

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The General Died at Dawn (1936) Poster

Amid the anarchy of China, an American mercenary tangles with a ruthless warlord.


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29 May 2010 | GManfred
Oddly Compelling Story.
Did you ever come in late to a movie and miss the beginning? You have to try hard to concentrate and catch up, all the while feeling off-balance and wondering how much you missed. That's the way this picture starts off, and I spent some time trying to 'fit in' to the plot. But this film's plot moves at break-neck speed and made me think it is an editing flaw.

Having recovered, I found the story completely original and refreshing (can't think of too many Chinese Civil War flicks!). I also found a lack of tension - what's the opposite of nerve-wracking? - as there is no sense of urgency to the proceedings. The principals were just fine; Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll and Akim Tamiroff, and special mention must be made of Philip Ahn, who was the personification of evil Japanese military in many WWII pictures.

It is worth viewing but is a minor entry in the Gary Cooper canon. I liked it and recommend it but I plan to watch it again soon because I think it is one of those pictures in which some subtlety is overlooked in only one viewing.

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Release Date:

28 October 1936



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