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China Seas 1935
Description: Captain Alan Gaskell sails the perilous waters between Hong Kong and Singapore with a secret cargo: a fortune in British gold. That's not the only dangerous cargo he carries; both his fiery mistress and his refined fiancee are aboard!
Released: 16 Aug 1935 Director: Tay Garnett Writers: Jules Furthman (screen play), James Kevin McGuinness (screen play), Crosbie Garstin (from the book by) Actors: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone Genres: Action, Drama, Adventure, Romance
Trailers and related videos:

See China Seas (1935) Official Tra on youtube.

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See China Seas 2nd Cabin Scene - G on youtube.

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See China Seas (1935) Official Tra on youtube.

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See STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen a on youtube.

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See Jean Harlow Drinking Game on youtube.

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See ★ Jean Harlow ★ THE ONLY COLOR on youtube.

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See Jean Harlow Bathing In Red Dus on youtube.

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See Isle of Destiny 1940 South Sea on youtube.

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See "Red Dust" clip 3.mp on youtube.

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See clark gable & jean harlow on youtube.

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China Seas Reviews:

This was the first movie I saw that paired Clark Gable and Jean Harlow. I expected a lot from it and I was not disappointed. They were one of the finest screen squads of the 30s.In a way, the plot is like RED DUST on the high seas. Gable is again in charge of a zone and the leader of men, including a team of Asians. Harlow is again the girl of simple virtue with a heart of gold. Rosalind Russell, in an entertaining turn as Sybil, Gable's long ago love, is a comedic and decidedly more classy dame who captures Captain Gaskill's attention, and who incites China Doll's jealousy. Wallace Beery, who worked with both Harlow and Gable in "THE SECRET SIX" and with Harlow in the 1933 classic "DINNER AT EIGHT" is enjoyably slick and subtly shady as Jamesy. But it is the chemistry between Harlow and Gable that really holds this film together. They obviously had nice respect and liking for one another, and this only cemented their working relationship on-screen. My favourite lines, one spoken by China Doll: "When I wish you to sound off, Golden Bells, I'll pull your rope!" The another by Gaskill, with that unmistakable Gable grin: "And as a boy told when they were about to hang him, 'This will be a lesson to me.' " It's a gem, and don't pass it up.


The studios in the "Golden Age" of movies loved to stick to successful formulas that worked for their actors and directors. Just go down the list of performers that you can recall: A fine actor like Basil Rathbone is either the massive or villain, or Sherlock Holmes (but not, as he wished, Rhett Butler). Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich should not enjoy normal housewives, nor should Joan Crawford enjoy a stupid woman. Oliver Hardy should everytime have a wife, but never a satisfied marriage (and if it approached happiness, Stan Laurel would support destroy that). Lewis Stone, sterling hero actor, only achieved permanent stardom when he inherited the role of Judge Hardy from Lionel Barrymore, and he would remain the perfect, wise father to Mickey Rooney in a dozen films. As for Barrymore, while he had a higher degree of stardom than Stone, he fell nicely into a niche as the original Dr. Leonard Gilespie, opposite Lew Ayres as Dr. Kildare.In 1932 MGM got the bright concept of making a dramatic movie of Vicki Baum's "Grand Hotel" with an all star cast (John and Lionel Barrymore, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Jean Hersholt, and Tully Marshall). The movie won the greatest picture Oscar, so it became a standard for another MGM projects to copy. The greatest known is "Dinner At Eight" (both Barrymore brothers again, Beery again, Jean Harlow, Marie Dressler, Billy Burke, Edmund Lowe, Lee Tracy, Hersholt again). But "David Copperfield", "The Prisoner OF Zenda", and few another Selznick films, and "The Women" (with only a cast of actresses - Crawford, Shearer, Russell, Fontaine, Goddard, and Boland) followed the same formula with variants by the settings and plots of the films."China Seas" was an early example of the formula "all star" film, a "Grand Hotel" set at sea. The plot is varied: C. Aubrey Smith is having a cargo of gold shipped by his ship captained by Gable. The passengers contain Harlow (who has had a long standing on-again, off-again romance with Gable), Russell (Gable's actual love interest - a true English lady type), Beery (an untrustworthy gambler and thief - he may be planning to steal the gold), Robert Benchley (an American novelist on a permanent toot), Edward Brophy and Lillian Bond as a married couple on a tour (Ms Bond has her secrets from her husband), Akim Tamiroff (a boy who knows how to take advantage of secrets), Dudley Digges (a self-satisfied and smug chief executive officer), and Lewis Stone (a former sea captain, actually reduced in rank and a pariah due to an act of cowardice).The movie is a lively mixture of comedy and tragedy, including the death of one of the villains. Harlow demonstrates an interesting method of testing cards and drinking that suggests more than the movie shows. Benchley never appears clear eyed and sober throughout all the film. Stone, in a strong moment, leaves the self-righteous Digges with a permanent black tag on his self-esteem. Gable and Beery present what the "boot" is, and how effective it is. This is a movie where the activities of the cast are so involving you never receive bored even when you see the movie other time. And at the end, as the ship reaches port (as in "Grand Hotel"), life goes on as though nothing (including a pirate attack) ever even occurred.


A nice storyline and a nice cast. If you set aside all the early Hollywood traps about racism and sexism, this is a terrific and watchable romance/adventure.The storyline is very related to Gable's soon film, "Mogambo." He's the adventurous cad who loves two girls - a pretty ice-queen who represents his url to civilization (Russell); and the pretty but stubborn and uncouth "woman of the world" who has the capacity to betray him when it suits her (Harlow). This film is very well acted. I've everytime told that if you give Gable an affectation to fall back on, he does extremely well. Here, he's a barking sea captain, which, almost by accident, gives his performance a better range than it otherwise would have. I don't really like Harlow, but she's nice in her role.The editing is a bit strange - many closeups are too obviously added in later, but I guess I can partially forgive this because of the time it was made. It really shows how Harlow was on a roll when she was with the rest of the cast, though. Because these individual shots do not fit in with the film at all.There's some nice results during the typhoon sequence, with a steam engine running loose on the deck - and you now see folks receive run over and flattened. It's disconcerting even though you realize the camera tricks involved. Very inventive for its day.



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