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China Gate [Blu-ray]

3.7 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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China Gate

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Editorial Reviews

A soldier of fortune and his Eurasian wife join guerrillas against Chinese in Vietnam. Directed by Samuel Fuller.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gene Barry, Angie Dickinson, Nat King Cole, Lee Van Cleef, Paul Dubov
  • Directors: Samuel Fuller
  • Producers: Samuel Fuller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, Widescreen, Anamorphic
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: March 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00B27WRBA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,944 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tony Williams on August 17, 2005
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I'm giving this VHS version 4 stars instead of the 5 it really deserves because the current cropped VHS version does a grave injustice to Samuel Fuller's visual style and his creative use of cinemascope. When the film was available on 16mm I used to run it in my Samuel Fuller class to show students the type of innovative work several films exhibited in the 1950s. As it stands at the moment, the VHS cropped, pan and scan version represents a travesty of an outstanding film.

As the other reviewer has noted, CHINA GATE is one of the first American films to deal with the Indo-China conflict that formed the prequel to the Vietnam War. But the casting of Angie Dickinson and Lee Van Cleef as Eurasians is not as bizarre as several reviewers noted. Lucky Legs (Dickinson) has been abandoned by Brock (Gene Barry) due to his racist reaction against his newborn son who looks Oriental. The film thus takes a more incisive look at American racism than does THE GREEN BERETS a decade later. By contrast, Lee Van Cleef's Viet-Minh commissar is a more humane end educated man than his American counterpart. He wishes to adopt Brock's son and Lucky Legs and provide the home Brock refuses to give them. However, Lucky Legs wishes her son to be an American despite her personal experience of racism from a man from "the land of the free." Like RUN OF THE ARROW, CHINA GATE deals with the complex issue of American identity and pulls no punches. Nat King Cole's Goldie has lost his wife to cancer, lives only for killing "commies", and condemns his white American counterpart for deserting his wife and child. It is one of the best performances Cole ever delivered in any American film.
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Format: Blu-ray
Gritty Sam Fuller war film finally restored...kind of. It's great to have this back in print again. As Fuller notes in his autobiography, "There were enough hot topics in this adventure love story to push everybody's buttons.Communism and colonialism.Racism and tolerance.Black markets and capitalism. Abandonment and fidelity." Great cast led by a nasty Gene Barry,a very young Angie Dickinson,Nat Cole,Marcel Dalio,Lee Van Cleef. The new BluRay has deep blacks and decent contrast through most of the film, but there are episodes of white digital "snow" marring the image through parts of the middle of the film.Not sure if this existed on the original master or if it is a flaw in the transfer.Quite a distraction,nonetheless.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I had waited for this movie to come to DVD and was pleased to see it not only would be on DVD but appear in blu-ray. The movie is one of my favorite B films from the fifties. It is not just a good film but shows the roots of the Vietnam war as having been essential in spite of the liberal war haters of that era. My big regret was to find it was poorly reproduced as it skipped several times throught the first two/thirds of the movie.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This film takes place, before Dien Bien Phu, where the Viet Minh, defeated the French. It mostly focuses on two men, both mercenaries and a woman. Gene Barry, Angie Dickenson, and the great Nat King Cole. Yes, he sings too. The acting and storyline is great. Check it out. J. Russell
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This is a great film that has been lost to the masses for too long. Now, the only time the movie is shown is late at night. And, it is the chopped up, badly edited version.

It is amazing that so many films are not available on DVD. It took forever for the John Ford movies "Wagon Master" and "Sgt. Rutledge" to make it into DVD. Hopefull "China Gate" will soon join the ranks of lost films found again.

And on a musical note, one of the great singers of all times Nat King Cole not only has a supporting role, but also sings the theme song.
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By A Customer on November 29, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of the first classic 50's movies concerning the relationships,war and turmoil in Vietnam also featuring the reknowned singer Nat King Cole.It's a must see!!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Other reviewers have said enough about the story so I will talk about other stuff. I first saw this movie when it came out in 1957. I must admit at the time it wasn't my favorite of war movies and I, too, found it boring. I saw it again for the second time last night and realized that it was a great movie - I was just to young to appreciate it at the time. Also, when it came out, there was not the historical significance or relevance there is today as we had no involvement as a country in Vietnam (Indochina then). The Blu-Ray transfer is excellent, sound is fine, and Max Steiner's musical score is easily recognizable - if you are a Steiner fan. The black and white treatment at the time was typical of Fuller and adds to the harshness of the movies. My only complaint today would be with Amazon for the ridiculous price increase since I purchased it a few weeks ago. (60% from $18 - $30). I am glad I bought it when I did. Wait for it and the price will likely drop. Last mention: Lee Van Cleef does a really good job in this one and does more speaking for a short screen time than I have ever heard from him in a movie.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie has a very good cast, including Angie Dickenson. It tells of the struggle the French army had to preserve Indochina after World War II, Now, however, the enemy is not the Japanese, but the local communist movements that are seeking to throw the French out. The politics of the time are way too over-simplified, and the independence movements in particular are exaggerated greatly in their evil nature. But it is still worth viewing for its historical perspective, its acting, and its action sequences.
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