China Smith (1952– )

TV Series   |    |  Adventure

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China Smith (1952) Poster

Con artist and private eye China Smith works out of a bar in Singapore, roaming Asia in search of beautiful women (who like his tough style) and quick money. His nemeses are the friendly British Inspector and the scheming "empress."


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5 June 2016 | cheathamg
| Just because it was cheap doesn't mean it didn't have style.
The bad boy hero goes back to the beginnings of literature. In Hollywood it grew most directly out of the film noir school of the forties. In the early days of TV overly sweet and sappy rom-coms were the norm, along with westerns, but somebody had a taste for noir, and so "China Smith" was born. And what baddest, bad boy hero was there but Dan Duryea? He could play a strong, bold villain, he could play a weak, cowardly villain. He could be a nice, honorable guy. He could be a rat. China Smith was all of those. Rod Taylor always wanted to be an action hero with a brain, and so he tried to imitate China Smith in his series "Hong Kong", but it didn't have the grittiness. Sure, the sets were poorly made and the lighting was murky. Duryea was the most talented actor in the series, but he more than made up for the other's failings. Those of us who followed it faithfully in the early, dim days of television knew it was hokum, but we loved it nonetheless.

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