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Oil for the Lamps of China (1935)

Approved | | Drama | 8 June 1935 (USA)
An American, working for his oil company in China, disregards all but the company's interests. " The characters and the institution portrayed in the story are not actual but the product of ... See full summary »

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

Alice Tisdale Hobart (by), Laird Doyle (screen play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pat O'Brien ... Stephen Chase
Josephine Hutchinson ... Hester Adams
Jean Muir ... Alice
Lyle Talbot ... Jim
Arthur Byron ... No. 1 Boss
John Eldredge ... Don
Donald Crisp ... Mr. McCarger
Willie Fung ... Kin
Tetsu Komai Tetsu Komai ... Ho
Henry O'Neill ... Edward Hartford
Ronnie Cosby ... Bunsy Wellman
William B. Davidson ... E.H. Swaley (as William Davidson)
George Meeker ... Bill Kendall
Joseph Crehan ... Clements
Christian Rub ... Dr. Jorgen
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Storyline

An American, working for his oil company in China, disregards all but the company's interests. " The characters and the institution portrayed in the story are not actual but the product of fiction. The oil business was chosen because light has ever been symbolic of progress." Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The FLAMING HELL OF THE LAST FRONTIER (original print ad - mostly caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 June 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A sárkány birodalma See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Bellingham WA Friday 23 November 1956 on KVOS (Channel 12); it first aired in Phoenix Thursday 13 December 1956 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Miami Thursday 20 December 1956 on WTVJ (Channel 4), in San Francisco Tuesday 25 December 1956 on KRON (Channel 4), and in Bloomington IN Wednesday 26 December 1956 on WTTV (Channel 4). See more »

Quotes

Hester Adams Chase: Two things matter to a man, the woman he loves and the work he does.
See more »

Connections

Version of Law of the Tropics (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Chinatown, My Chinatown
(1910) (uncredited)
Music by Jean Schwartz
Whistled by Pat O'Brien
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Tale of Newlyweds in China
17 November 2014 | by JLRMovieReviewsSee all my reviews

Pat O'Brien is dedicated to his job at the power company. He's trying to get ahead and get a name for himself and a little recognition. At a work seminar, the speaker says select workers are being sent to China to learn from them, to think like them, to be as efficient as them – to learn their work ethic. He is transferred but is told that the company frowns upon married men in China as the wives can't take the time alone there, as much is demanded on each man by the company. But Pat was engaged. He was, until he received a wire, saying she backed out from coming to a strange land. But he had to get someone to save face. Enter Josephine Hutchinson was traveling with her father, a lover and teacher of the Orient, who passed away while traveling. Their conversations lead to them being married and an understanding was made between them. What I consider a poor man's "The Good Earth," "Oil for the Lamps of China" is a story of two people finding themselves and understanding each other's roles in the world. I love the title, as it feels very old and yet very resourceful and inventive. Based on a novel, this was a captivating story of American people thrust in the Chinese world. Through their ups and downs, trials and tribulations, he is trying to ahead in the company, doing and dying for them, while she is trying to be a strong and devoted wife to her man. Josephine Hutchinson was a good actress who has virtually been forgotten, but a lot of that is due to the fact she was not cast as the female lead very often. This was probably her biggest and best role in Hollywood ever. She was also seen in Lana Turner's "Cass Timberlane" and Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" in a very small role. If you ever get a chance to see "Oil for the Lamps of China," a very rare, intelligent and engrossing film, please watch it and enjoy films the way they were years ago and were meant to be – entertaining while informative of a country, people, of a way of life, of a way to live, of a new perspective.


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