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Victor Mature's long-suffering, bloodhound visage is the central image in Frank Borzage's wartime romance drama China Doll, a perfect example of what critic Andrew Sarris once referred to as Borzage's films about war as an intrusion on the emotional privacy of lovers. Mature plays Air Force Captain Cliff Brandon, stationed in China and training elite pilots by day during World War II. At night, Brandon becomes a drunken loner shunning the company of his men, Red Cross nurses, and local women who try to sell him comfort. Things change when Brandon, stumbling home from a bar, agrees to buy an old Chinese man's daughter, Shu-Jen (Li Hua Li), for three months, a decision the officer instantly regrets in the cold light of day. Convinced by his sole confidante--a priest (Ward Bond) running an orphanage--that the only honorable way out is to let Shu-Jen fulfill her three-month obligation, Brandon soon finds himself falling for her and re-embracing life. With the world on a collision course with itself, however, Brandon and Shu-Jen's shared destiny departs from the life of mutual salvation and closeness they've earned. Borzage's delicacy with the love story finds echoes in parallel relationships between other characters. In fact, struggling for a clear path to intimacy in the midst of battle seems very much on the minds of everyone in this movie. Action sequences are reasonably crisp, though theyre not designed to thrill so much as devastate viewers. A climactic scene set at an Air Force base under attack by Japanese pilots is one of the most powerful and poignant wartime visions in American cinema. --Tom Keogh
I disagree with Mr. Sarno's negative review. I enjoyed this film very much. Yes I love Victor Mature, but I really enjoyed the
emotional story and the war story. Read more
My grandma was telling me about all the movies she grew up watching and how she wanted to see them again. This is one of her favorites. I'm glad i was able to find it for her.Published 4 months ago by Raina Davis
There is an epic movie somewhere in the script of China Doll, but audiences will never see it. The beginning of the film betrays the viewer. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Stephen T.
Beautifully sharp copy, like new cover and quick delivery. Very nice movie from the past. Just finding it was gratifying.Published 9 months ago by Henry Justice
Classic War 2 movie, Showing the Rarly seen part of WW2 of the Chinese Theatre of WW 2! Tragic ending though!Published 10 months ago by D. Fancher
I though as a PRIME member those old movies are watch free. After 1-click it involved a charge.Published 11 months ago by See I told you