LOVE IS A MANY-SPLENDORED THING remains to this day one of Hollywood's most beloved and heartbreaking love stories. Set in the turbulent days of Hong Kong during the Korean War, the story concerns war correspondant Mark Elliott (William Holden) who falls in love with widowed Eurasian doctor Han Suyin (Jennifer Jones) who, while coming from completely different walks of life, fall in love. Based on the real-life Han Suyin's bestselling novel of the same name, the film candidly deals with themes of prejudice and the dangerous political climate of the time. Beautifully-filmed on location in Hong Kong.
The casting is impeccable: Jennifer Jones is luminous as Suyin (even more glorious in Technicolor) and William Holden adds a great edge to his performance. Isobel Elsom plays Mrs Palmer-Jones, the racist wife of the head of the hospital (her scenes with Jones still ring true).
For a romance with a similar theme I recommend THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG with William Holden and Nancy Kwan.
when I first brought this film and started watching it I thought it was good not great. But the ending, the tragic ending and the swelling of the soundtrack made me cry and hit the replay button on my dvd player. The movie began to take shape for me once I realized the steps these two have taken to fall in love. The dialogue flows like modern Shakepeare and is wonderful to hear. Jones is at her best and it shows her subtle voice; it is neither weak nor nagging but this film belongs to love and to have it you need another person and at a key scene at a party we are introduced to Holden! Wow, this man was a master of presence and had such a natural flow to his acting. The intimate scenes of them on the way back from visiting one of Jones' friends are simply haunting. Under the moonlight and in a canoe Holden tells Jones "I will never do anything to hurt you" the tone and the expressions on both their faces are amazing. I love this flick and the setting is breathtaking. Just have a bucket and a towel to ring your tears into after the movie is over.
on October 27, 2007
At age 71 - I have looked back over my lifetime and have memories of movies that really touched me. This was one of those - - so I have purchased this memory and have enjoyed it once again. I am glad I bought it - because I can now watch it over and over - which I will do. At this age I now realize that there are things that give meaning to your life, and how you live it, and so I am now going back and trying to recapture those small tokens to keep and cherish. This is not much of a review as a return to my youth. Sorry.
on June 24, 1999
Jennifer Jones and William Holden are perfectly cast as star-crossed lovers, in this film. The story is poignant and beautifully done. Jennifer Jones portrays her character, Dr. Han Suyin with depth and feeling. She is believable! William Holden, as Mark Elliot, war-correspondent, is charming and determined to win her love. And yet, he respects her wishes and her ancient heritage and culture. The scenery throughout the film is breath-taking.The title song, played throughout the picture only enhances the scenic beauty. My favorite parts are, of course their first meeting at the Palmer-Jones cocktail party, their outing that begins on the beach and their brief but romantic meetings on the hill over-looking Hong Kong. The ending, though most tragic, is beautifully done! A must see movie!!!!!
on May 2, 2003
When 20th Century-Fox initially released this film to DVD the 2:55:1 transfer was not enhanced for widescreen televisions. This new version of "Love Is A Many Splendored-Thing" corrects that oversight and gives us a comprehensive documentary on William Holden besides. The film concerns itself with a real life love story between Eurasian doctor, Han Sue-Yin (Jennifer Jones) and married American reporter, Mark Elliot (William Holden). Set in the unstable political climate of Hong Kong, and featuring some breaktaking cinematography, captured in all its Cinemascope glory, this film is a remarkably effective piece of fiction and, with its Oscar-winning title song, remains a sure fire hit.
Aside from its anamorphic enhancements, this new transfer doesn't make any quantum leaps forward in image quality. The initial print was remarkably smooth looking, save a few instances where film grain is a bit excessive. Edge enhancement, aliasing and shimmering details are kept to a bare minimum. Colors are very rich, vibrant and, for the most part, accurate, only occasionally giving way to orangy flesh tones. Pixelization is a problem from time to time. The audio is the same 4.0 as the previous disc - occasionally strident, but on the whole very well spread across all of the speakers.
As already stated, this disc includes a Biography special on William Holden that is remarkably comprehensive, considering its running time plays at under an hour. Image quality varies, according to the elements of film stock from the various movie clips used. There's also a theatrical trailer - badly dated, and a Movietones news reel of the film's premiere.
BOTTOM LINE: NICELY DONE FROM FOX THIS TIME AROUND. My only concern is this - as with all Fox movies previously issued to DVD, the source elements were cleaned up before their reissue. As in the case of "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir" (last month's studio classic release) the image quality of a first run DVD was bad to awful. I only hope that next month's release "The Song Of Bernadette" comes closer to "Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing" than "The Ghost And Mrs. Muir". I'll keep you posted.
This 1955 movie is about the struggle between honor, propriety, cross cultural relationships, and love. The story develops with two people who fall in love. Jennifer Jones plays the part of an Eurasian doctor, a widow, a woman who has resigned herself to the care of others and promises never to allow her heart to open up to another relationship.
William Holden plays newsman Mark Elliott, a dashing correspondent, a gentle and virile man who has the patience and the subtleness to spark the necessary fire for her to allow herself to find new meaning to her life. But, he is a married man.
As she says... "look at the faces of unhappy people who don't have the love we share!" There is much going on around this lovely couple, communism is surfacing all over China, the Korean War calls William Holden away, she travels back to China to visit her family and bravely confronts her relative with the news that she wants to marry out of her own culture, a foreigner, an American. He travels to ask his wife for a divorce, which she at first grants, only to later deny him his freedom.
Throughout the movie we are at the edge of our seat... what will happen next? The dialogue between these two human beings is superb, capturing the struggle and ending in poetic promises of honor and ardent love.
The costumes are simply magnificent as she wears silk Chinese suits, and he... simply continues to capture the hearts of audiences. My favorite part is the symbolism shared by this movie, with butterflies providing the essence of the transformation the characters undergo as they interface and fall in love with one another. And the theme music of this movie is unforgettable... you will find yourself humming away for days after you watch and enjoy... Love is a many splendorous thing!
This DVD offers additional features, and the biography of William Holden alone is enough for us to want to own this classic in our collection. It provides a rare and intimate view of the life of one of Hollywood's greatest actors, allowing us to see his wife and children. Did not know that Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelley, and Stephanie Powers had all been... leading ladies of William Holden... both on screen... and in real life. Don't miss this movie... we cried while watching... and loved every minute of it!
on March 18, 2000
When I first saw LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING I was about 16, and, yes, I saw it from a completely romantic perspective. The next time I saw the movie, I was able to see it from a socio-economic perspective.
Henry King did a superb job in combining all the aspects of romance, racial unrest, political and social power, and socio-economic conditions out in the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong during the late 1940's. Suyin fell in love with Mark Elliot, but she had difficulty in coming to terms of becoming European, and at the same time, the Palmer-Jonses had tremendous power in the colony. Adeline Palmer-Jones as the wife of the director of the hospital was always there to let Dr. Hom know in subtle ways that she did not fit in. The scene where the director orders Dr. Hom to attend to his wife before she dares to go onto the wards well illustrated the socio-economic problems in Hong Kong. The British society people ruled Hong Kong, and the poor or ailing Chinese were treated as second class citizens, including Dr. Hom. Another powerful scene was when the Chinese doctor gave Dr. Hom the news that her residency would not be renewed. Dr. Hom replied that she could go into private practice, and her friend informed her that to be realistic, it would not be possible because the British people would only seek medical assistance from their own kind. It was interesting her girlhood friend did what she had to do in order to fit into Hong Kong society, and as another Eurasian, she passed herself off as English.
I recently watched this movie again for about the fourth time, and it has been about some 45 years since I saw it for the first time. I am no longer a young person, but I could still appreciate the handsome and romantic William Holden as Mark Elliot. He was divine.
Yes, it was a wonderful love story, and a brief lesson in history, which could serve as a springboard to do further research into the life out in Hong Kong during the 20th century.
on July 1, 1999
I am a Beijing-born and American educated Chinese American man. If there is a movie that deeply touches my heart "Love is a many splendored thing" is definitely the one. Jennifer Jones so beautifully portrays Suyin, an Eurasian woman of Chinese descent that I thought she herself is half Chinese. How could an American actress capture the very essence of a Chinese woman so vividly?! The more I watched the movie, the more I was convinced that she must have some Chinese blood. I never felt that I was watching a movie. It was real to me! Her beauty, her character, and her acting skills perfectly match the story. She reminds me of exwife, a beautiful Chinese woman and my exgirl friend, a beautiful Americna woman. She combines beauties and strengths of both Chinese and American women. Where can you find a woman with such beauty and qualities in real life or in movies nowadays?!
on March 8, 2007
Jennifer Jones and William Holden are the epitome of CLASS! They are a couple you just continue to root for throughout the movie. The scenery and a peek into a different culture also impressed me. I am so happy this came out on DVD.
on October 24, 2000
I have to admit that it is a pretty cheesy way and a cheap shot to market this film with a half naked William Holden holding a seemingly breathless Jennifer Jones.
But the movie is anything but cheesy and cheap.
Shot in breathtaking technicolor, Love Is A Many-Splendored THing opens with a spectacular aerial shot of Hong Kong in the early 1950s. We are introduced to Han Suyin, a doctor who is half chinese and half English. During a reception, she met Joe Gillis, an American reporter.
Suyin, being a widow, at first denied any attraction she feels for Joe, but eventually she gave in. But her relationship with Joe is blocked by obstcales, both social and political: Suyin's relationship with Joe threatens her position at the hospital she works, Joe's wife refuse to grant him a divorce, the communist threat on mainland China which puts Suyin's family in danger, and the Korean war brewing nearby, to which Joe may have to cover for his newspaper.
Jennifer Jones delivered one of the best performances of her career. Originally, she was supposed to don Asian makeup, when the tests turn out horrendous, Jennifer was allow to look the way she does, but she convincingly played a Eurasian on mannerism and speech alone. Her performance at the finale wrenches your heart.
As for the movie itself, it is best to watch it on DVD, because it is where you can watch it on widescreen. You get to see the movie without anybody's face being cut off, the pan and scan effect, and you can enjoy the amazing cinematography. I don't care for the theme song itself, but the instrumental version of it is romantic and uplifting.
Jones recieved an Oscar nomination for her performance, too bad she didn't win. But ultimately, nobody remember whom she lost the Oscar to, but they still remember this performance.