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The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)

Ingrid Bergman , Robert Donat , Mark Robson  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (344 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ingrid Bergman, Robert Donat, Curd Jürgens, Michael David, Athene Seyler
  • Directors: Mark Robson
  • Writers: Alan Burgess, Isobel Lennart
  • Producers: Buddy Adler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 2003
  • Run Time: 158 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (344 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008LDO1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,285 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Movietone newsreels (movie premieres)
  • Restoration comparison

Editorial Reviews

All her life Englishwoman Gladys Aylward knew that China was the place where she belonged. Not qualified to be sent there as a missionary, Gladys works as a domestic to earn the money to send herself to a poor, remote village. There she eventually lives a full and happy life: running the inn, acting as "foot inspector", advising the local Mandarin and even winning the heart of mixed race Captain Lin Nan. But Gladys discovers her real destiny when the country is invaded by Japan and the Chinese children need her to save their lives. Based on a true story.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
132 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars following God's call May 28, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This is a magnificent film in every aspect; the acting is brilliant, the landscapes beautiful, the drama intense. Based on the true story of Gladys Aylward, a house maid in England who was "not qualified" to be sent to China as a missionary, so went there on her own, saving every shilling earned for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian railroad. Taking place in the pre-WWII era, it's an adventure story of great spiritual courage, the chaos of war, and a romance between two independent people who never thought they would find love.
Ingrid Bergman is luminous as Gladys. It is one of her very best performances, and my personal favorite. Robert Donat, who passed away before the film was released, is also marvelous as the Mandarin of Yang Cheng, and Curt Jurgens as Captain Lin Nan is handsome and believable as the man who falls in love with Gladys. In a small but pivotal part, Athene Seyler is terrific as Jennie Lawson, the elderly missionary who helps Gladys in her early years, and Peter Chong is a delight as Yang the cook.
It is odd that the only Oscar nomination went to director Mark Robson; perhaps Bergman was overlooked because she had received a "Best Actress" for "Anastasia" two years earlier, but Bergman fans will give this film their own five-star award.
The fabulous location filming by Freddie Young was done in Snowdonia National Park, North Wales, a remarkable substitute for Shaanxi Province, in the heart of China. The village reproductions are very well done, and look incredibly similar to films I have seen shot in China. The lovely score by Malcolm Arnold adds much to the film, and Alan Burgess, whose book "The Small Woman" is the basis of the story, wrote the script, which is witty, wise and wonderful, with Isobel Lennart.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
One rainy afternoon I was channel surfing and came across this movie and fortunately for me it was very close to the beginning. I was so drawn into the story and captivated by Ingrid Bergman's performance that I forgot I was even watching television!! This is one of the most touching and moving stories I have ever seen and (I won't give this part of the movie away) when the Chinese gave "Gladys" a new name and what that translated to in English I thought I was going to go through a whole box of tissues right then and there. The storyline, scenery and acting are superb and the fact that it is based on a true story only makes it more inspiring. My cousin is 18 years old and wants to pursue a career in the mission field and I told her many times that she has to see this film. So I'm not only going to purchase one for MY video library but one for HER'S as well.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bergman shines in religious epic August 25, 2003
Format:DVD
Overlong but fairly engrossing bio of Gladys Aylward, an English-woman who, despite her lack of qualifications, becomes a missionary in China. The film is episodic and covers Aylward's brief career as a parlor maid (saving money for her trip to China), her journey to China, her work at the Inn of the Sixth Happiness and the Chinese-Japanese war which results in her guiding 100+ children in an arduous journey through the mountains to a safer village. I didn't find the film as moving as other reviewers but it is well mounted and nice to look at. Bergman is outstanding as are other supporting players, most notably Curt Jergens and Robert Donat. This was Donat's last film (he died before it was released) and his last screen words are prophetic - "We shall not see each other again, I think. Farewell."
What is most notable about this dvd release is the excellent commentary by Nick Redman, Aubrey Solomon and Donald Spoto. Redman talks about the real Gladys Aylward, Solomon talks about the film production and Spoto discusses Ingrid Bergman. There were many things changed for the film version and many of them are small and inexplicable. For example, Aylward's given Chinese name was Ai-weh-deh (not Jenai), an adopted child was actually named Ninepence (Sixpense in the movie), etc. Other changes were more larger in scope - Aylward's journey to China was quite harsh and she almost died several times. The inn-keeper, Jeanne Lawson (memorably played by Athene Seyler) was no as agreeable a woman as portrayed in the film - she was actually a cantankerous person prone to fits and thought to be quite mad by the villagers. Aylward herself was thought by many to be fanatical and to put it bluntly, off her rocker. Many other fascinating aspects about the film and the women (both Aylward and Bergman) are included.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great films of this kind December 1, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Ingrid Bergman took on this task thinking that it would be a great tribute to a true missionary from China, Gladys Alywood. But Gladys hated the film that everybody else loves.

It is a broad interpretation but so senitive to detail and to the reality of missionary life that it rings true at every turn. Ingrid Bergaman rarely goes wrong, and here she goes completely right. Her humility, her devotion to the children she cares for, and especially her interaction with the old mandarin, Robert Donat, who would actually die very soon after that last scene she had with him was completed, is a marvel..Ingrid Bergman knew that Donat would die soon, and her tears at his imminent death are there in the film, but integrated into the scene with him and his farewell to the village. The control here and the acting through all of it, show how Ingrid Bergman makes art out of real pathos, submits to the calling of her profession as an actress, and yet lets us see the real, only a glimpse, that touches on a real tragedy off screen, which she brings on screen.

The score is first rate, and it underlines events well, especially when the story line threatens to become superficial. But Ingfrid Bergman and Curt Jergens as well, manage this all with great style. See this film and buy it; it has greatness.
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