Posts Tagged ‘Hong Kong’

This 1955 film stars Clark Gable as Hank Lee, an American living in Hong Kong, who runs a successful smuggling business. Susan Hayward plays Jane Hoyt, a woman who comes to Hong Kong to search for her photographer husband, who has been kidnapped. The authorities can’t help her, but maybe Hank Lee can. However, the attraction between Jane and Hank complicates matters.

This is not one of Clark Gable’s better known films, which is a shame, because it’s really very good. Here, he is doing what he did best – being all sexy and bad-ass!!  Even as he got older, Gable still had that twinkle in his eye, and that quality of charming rascalliness (if that’s a word!). He is great here as Hank Lee – a man of dubious business dealings, but who certainly has some honour and integrity. He and Susan Hayward certainly have plenty of chemistry and the attraction between them was beautifully played – she reluctant to follow up on it, because after all, she is married and her husband may be in danger; he anxious to find her husband, because he feels that he can’t compete with a ghost. The relationship is real and believeable.

The story of Hank’s rescue attempt of Jane’s husband is also filled with tension, but for me the real enjoyment of this film came from the relationship between the two main characters. This was a film I had never heard of, but spotted it one day on television and decided to give it a try. I’m very glad I did, and this is certainly a film I would like to watch again.

Definitely recommended, especially for fans of Clark Gable.

Year of release: 1955

Director: Edward Dmytryk

Producer: Buddy Adler

Writer: Ernest K. Gann

Main cast: Clark Gable, Susan Hayward, Michael Rennie, Alex D’Arcy

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This stars William Holden as Mark Elliott, a married American journalist in Hong Kong, in 1949. He falls in love with a widowed Doctor, Han Suyin (Jennifer Jones), who is of both British and Chinese descent (although Jones herself was all-American). They face opposition to their inter-racial relationship, and Elliot’s marital status and his job also threaten to tear them apart.

William Holden has become one of my favourite stars – I feel that he was under-rated as an actor, whereas Jennifer Jones was over-rated. She is not as convincing as Holden, although she does display some talent, because in real life, the two of them did not get on at all during the making of this film, but you wouldn’t know it from seeing them on screen together!

The storyline moves along nicely – couple meet, fall in love, face numerous obstacles to their happiness, and in the end…well, I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for you. There were a few humorous moments, and a lot of moving ones. I did feel the film captured that feeling of falling in love with someone who you have recently met, and Holden was excellent in one of the two lead roles.

Not my favourite William Holden film (that would definitely be Sunset Boulevard), but well worth seeing if you are a fan.

Year of release: 1955

Director: Henry King

Producer: Buddy Adler

Writers: Han Suyin (book), John Patrick

Main cast: William Holden, Jennifer Jones

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