902 of 922 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2006
I read all 61 reviews to learn as much as I could about this fine film MISSING from my DVD collection. Then I went to my collection and read the back of the "Quigley..." jacket. I then Googled MGM Home Video, and went to their site. I scrolled to the bottom of the first page and clicked on "Help/Contact/FAQ." This took me to a screen with a pull-down menu from which I selected "MGM DVD," entered my email address, and politely asked them to explain themselves, check these 60 plus reviews as evidence that they should release HRTC in DVD.
I suggest you vote yes on this "review" (I did say it was a "fine film")in the hopes that 100% "Yes" votes will get this to the top of the review heap where it can be seen. Then I suggest that you use the instructions above to contact MGM. Finally, I suggest that everyone buy this film from Amazon when it comes out as thanks for their strong support of end-viewer reviews. God Bless.
250 of 254 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
UPDATE: This movie has just been announced for Blu-ray and DVD releases in the United States for April 17, 2012.
After passing over the role of Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" three years later Tom Selleck appeared on movie screens, cashing in on his Magnum PI popularity as an adventure hero who owes more than just a tip of the hat to the character made famous by the teaming of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
Of course the movie industry was heavily populated with Indy clones in the early 1980s, but this one in which Selleck plays a pilot helping an heiress locate her missing father was a cut above the above the rest.
I never saw this movie in the theater but on television and subsequently the now defunct VHS format. I think I wore that tape out watching the movie again and again.
With a great script and some truly clever dialogue this movie zips along so fast that you overlook the holes in the plot and just sit back and enjoy a good time. It helps that the supporting cast includes Bess Armstrong (so much better here than she was in Jaws 3), Brian Blessed (always fun to watch) and the perenniel villainous Robert Morley.
Very highly recommended, here's hoping it arrives on DVD soon.
There is a DVD of this movie available in Europe (Region 2) for those of us with region-free players. Copies of this Swedish DVD regularly appear on e-bay.
225 of 229 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2000
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
Tom Selleck stars as a former World War I flying ace, reduced to reliving his past glories in a bottle and giving flying lessons in two broken down Camels. Sparks fly between Selleck and Bess Armstrong when she hires him to help find her father (a young looking Wilford Brimley), last seen in Tibet, before her inheritence is lost to a scheming business partner (Robert Morley at his humorously evil best). Adventure abounds as the pair wend their way between Egypt and Tibet, with sidekick mechanic Jack Weston holding the dilapidated planes together. An outstanding musical score helps this entertaining film immeasureably. This is the kind of movie that Hollywood should be making ... but isn't!
I find myself wearing out the recording I made from an on-the-air source and fervently wish that "High Road to China" would be re-released on video and DVD so that I could buy a decent copy for my library.
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2006
EDIT 2014: NEW BLU RAY and DVD versions are now available. The decidedly dodgy release described below should be avoided .... The new BluRay is not reference quality but it's pretty darn good..... and it's as good as this film will ever look I imagine.
This is such a fun and feel good film. Not one of the critical "greats" of cinema history but still very much loved. I've lost count how many times I've watched this excellent little movie. There is such a chemistry between the two lead characters that the film is a real joy. I don't think Bess Armstrong played such a likeable funny magnetic character again. (Then again I don't suppose I've seen all her work. Suffice to say , she is wonderful in this).And Tom Selleck demonstrates most clearly how underrated he has been since the days of "Magnum". High Road to China was a bit lost at it's time of release. It was dismissed as a Raiders of the Lost Arc wanna-be. Looking at it again now makes one realise that this was a silly and shallow comparison to make. The only similarity is the time period the film takes place in.
Now to the negative. A DVD release of this film is LONG overdue. Why oh why is it being flopped into the market place with poor mono sound and dodgy unrestored picture that looks like it has been pirated from a VHS tape?
I bought this DVD from another source in Australia and was just so glad to finally have it on DVD in any condition. However I do fear that the uncreative twits who make the decisions as to which movies are to be released on DVD, are simply testing the waters with this unrestored release. If this sells well then maybe High Road to China will eventually be given the treatment it deserves and fully restored and re-released on DVD.
These decision makers aren't fans of movies. They don't understand why or how a film is a success. (just look at the number of sequels that are made, when the first in any series always has to struggle to be approved).
This DVD release is well worth getting in my opinion because the characters and story hold one's attention so well that the dodgy quality of the DVD itself is not too distracting an issue. I just know I'll be sucked in to updating to a fully restored edition one day. Ah well...... that's private enterprise for you.
59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2012
Love this movie! I remember going to see this with my mother, I loved the movie so much that I took the bus across town, by myself, the next day to see it again. There I was sitting alone, waiting for the movie to start and my father walks in and sits next to me. He's said to me, "Must be a good movie if you are willing to see again..." Indeed it was.
Glad to see it finally on disc... and Blu-Ray at that.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS Tape
This wonderful film reminiscent of those 1930's comedy adventures had the misfortune to come on the heels of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was compared unfavorably to Raiders because critics were not astute enough to recognize the difference between a film paying homage to the serial adventures of the 1930's such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, and an affectionate wave to a bygone type of picture from the same era, no longer made.
Critics may not have known what kind of film this was but Tom Selleck, as the often soused air ace Patrick O'Malley does, and so does Bess Armstong, who is quite wonderful in this film. She is spoiled heiress deluxe Evie Tozar, who hires Patrick to search for her missing father. The complication is that Bentik (Robert Morely) wants to insure she does not find him, so he can gain control of her father's fortune.
The other complication is Patrick's drinking and her determination to find her father, even if it kills him! Watching Patrick and Evie argue and bicker all across Asia reminds us of Gable and Harlow, and the charm of those films from the 1930's where we knew the constantly bickering stars were going to fall in love.
John Barry wrote his most beautiful score for this film, one that even outshines his later score for Out of Africa. It adds a sweeping beauty to the aerial scenes and the inevitable romance between the two leads. Bess Armstong shows something special here and should have become a big star. Perhaps the lukewarm reception to this magnificent film prevented that from happening.
Wilfred Brimley as Evie's father, and Jack Weston as Struts offer fine support in secondary roles, but Selleck and Armstrong are the big stars here, and they fill the screen in a manner befitting those film legends of the 1930's. It would be difficult to find anyone who has seen this film who didn't love it. Make do with whatever copy of this one you can acquire for now. Surely someone will realize what an audience there is for this type of entertainment, and at some point it will become available once again. A truly wonderful film you must own, whatever the format.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2003
Tom Selleck and Bess Armstrong have a chemisty on screen that draws you into the film and begs to you care about these people. Bess shines and will make you wish to be Tom Selleck. After this movie you'll put her in you top 10 actresses you goggle over.
Tom Selleck plays a ex-WW I ace pilot, a philander and ladies man with an eye for the bottle.
The dialog between Eve Tozer and Patrick O'Malley is some of the best ever written.
I don't pay attention to the credits, so i can't tell you who wrote it or who edited this movie but they deserve at least for this film to be saved on a DVD format. Not to mention Tom Selleck and Bess Armstrongs performances... outstanding.
A quote from the movie has to apply to all of us out there waiting to own this movie on DVD, "The ox is slow, but the world is patient."
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Tom Selleck finally got his missed opportunity to play Indiana Jones in this fine comedy-adventure also starring Bess Armstrong. Unfortunately, HIGH ROAD TO CHINA was released in the long shadow of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and has always been considered derivative, fogging the fact that this film is an example of quality entertainment all on its own.
In HIGH ROAD TO CHINA, set in the early 1920s, Armstrong plays Eve Tozer, the spoiled flapper daughter of a China trader who has gone missing in that vast land. Tozer leaves Paris, where she has been gorging at the moveable feast, and sets out east to find her father. She hires Selleck, a swashbuckling World War I ace, to fly her into the heart of the Orient.
Along the way, the byplay between them is acidic and wildly funny. Armstrong is cute, sharp and sassy (and looks great in flying breeches); Selleck plays it as the intelligent lummox, the perfect foil for her cutting wit.
If the ending is a bit over-the-top, it is no more over-the-top than anything RAIDERS and its sequels presented, albeit not as deftly handled. Still, HIGH ROAD TO CHINA is a sleeper that should not be missed.
Why this film (theatrically released in 1983) had to wait until 2000 for an already outdated VHS release and still hasn't been transferred to DVD is an open question. One prior reviewer claims that Selleck's conservative politics are to blame; be that as it may, had HIGH ROAD TO CHINA been the moneymaking mega-hit it should have been, Selleck's NRA membership would not have mattered. This very enjoyable film simply got lost among the "Jones Clones" of the era. Too bad, because, unlike most, it deserves your attention.
48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2012
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
It's been about over twenty years since I've seen this movie. But I can remember loving it as a kid watching with my father. Starring Tom Selleck, his mustache, and the mom from MTV's cult show "My So-Called Life", I have been waiting over a decade for this movie to be released on DVD. Here it comes on DVD and Blu-ray no less. I may just order both, one for me, one for my father, and update this review to be helpful to those less familiar with this lost treasure.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I am glad that the reviews here on Amazon give this movie four stars. I completely agree with it. This movie has a lot of the grandeur and splendor that make movies enjoyable.
Based shortly after World War I, the basis for the story is that society dame Eve (Bess Armstrong) must find her lost father. If she doesn't she risks losing the fortune that he and his partner built with their company. Upon finding the often-drunk and highly-argumentative WWI flying ace O'Malley (Tom Selleck) and his faithful mechanic "Struts" (the late Jack Weston), she hires them and their two biplanes to go in search of her father. This leads them on an unexpected trip to Waziristan, Nepal, and finally China.
One distinction must be made clear: this is NOT an action/adventure. This movie is very clearly drama/adventure. Some parts of it can be dry, but the light humor and absolutely GORGEOUS scenery help to move this movie along.
What really helps to complete this movie is the hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, composed by John Barry, who is more famous for his score to "Dances with Wolves". If you're familiar with the DWW score, you will hear some of the same motifs and structures in sections throughout "High Road to China".
Unfortunately, this movie has never been released in widescreen AS ALL MOVIES SHOULD BE. As a result, you can see some humorous gaffes. The most evident is when O'Malley flips his plane to dispose of an unwanted passenger. The plane is supposed to be several hundred feet in the air, yet the open-matte release of this movie lets you clearly see the unmoving trees that are only a few dozen feet tall at the bottom of the frame. Yet another reason why this movie deserves a proper, WIDESCREEN release.
Even with such evident mistakes, if you are in the mood for a gentle, medium-paced drama with a good story, absolutely unbelievable scenery, and gorgeous music, you have got to give "High Road to China" a try.