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China Seas (1935)

Passed | | Action, Drama, Adventure | 16 August 1935 (USA)
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.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mrs. Vollberg (as Live de Maigret)
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Mrs. Timmons (as Lillian Bond)
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Soo Yong ...
Carol Ann Beery ...
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Romanoff
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Storyline

Dynamic Alan Gaskell captains a ship bound from Hong Kong to Singapore. Gaskell tries to turn over a new leaf from his hard-drinking lifestyle after becoming re-attached to a refined high class English lady, Sybil Barclay. His former girlfriend Dolly is extremely jealous of the budding relationship and tries hard to get the Captain back. He is apparently unimpressed with her loud, obnoxious, and uncivilized manners, even though she is extremely beautiful. After a temporary takeover of the ship by gold-seeking Asian pirates, Captain Gaskell must deal with the fact that Dolly and her drinking pal, Jamesey MacArdle, are implicated in the crime. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A challenge to all screen history!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mares de China  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,138,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The £250,000 in gold on the ship would equate to $1,225,500 at the time or over $21.5M in 2016. See more »

Goofs

Although Harlow is completely drenched from head to toe in the storm, she appears in the scenes immediately thereafter with her platinum wig back in place, perfectly coiffed with every hair, wave and curl just exactly as before. See more »

Quotes

McCaleb: Heh, see that chess game over there? When I was four years old, I played ten people, all at once, blindfolded. I lost every game.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Jean Harlow (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Road To Mandalay
(1907) (uncredited)
Music by Oley Speaks
Lyrics by Rudyard Kipling
Variation played as part of the score during the opening credits and at the end
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User Reviews

 
Harlow, Gable, and Beery at their best
20 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"When I want you to sound off, Golden Bell, I'll pull your rope"--Harlow to Yu-Lan in "China Seas." There's not another actor, alive or dead, who could make that line work, but Harlow finds both the obvious comedy and the hidden pathos in it. (The pathos stems from her realization that she's out of her league, and her fear that the others at the table are looking down their noses at her.)

She, Gable, and Wallace Beery, are perfectly cast here. Harlow is the sassy, brassy, slightly shady blonde who's impulsive and emotional, but who really wants to do the right thing. Gable is of course steady and solid, all man, in charge, unflappable, ironic, and irresistible. Beery is by turns roguish, charming, tough, and menacing.

Roz Russell does a fine job as an old flame of Clark's who shows up for the voyage. Her British accent holds up pretty well. Lewis Stone plays the cowardly 3rd Officer who is out to repair his reputation, a far cry from his future as Judge Hardy. And Robert Benchley does his familiar drunkard routine.

Besides being well-cast, the film is exciting, with tropical storms, piracy at sea, and complicated romances. The special effects are excellent for the era, and the pacing is lively. Really a fine film.


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