Siddhesh Joshi

China Seas (film)

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Director  Tay Garnett
Music director  Herbert Stothart
Country  United States
7/10 IMDb

Genre  Action, Drama, Adventure
Screenplay  Jules Furthman
Language  English
China Seas (film) movie poster
Writer  James Kevin McGuinness, Jules Furthman
Release date  August 9, 1935 (1935-08-09)
Based on  China Seas 1931 novel  by Crosbie Garstin
Cast  Clark Gable (Alan Gaskell), Jean Harlow (China Doll), Wallace Beery (Jamesy MacArdle), Lewis Stone (Davids), Rosalind Russell (Sybil), Dudley Digges (Dawson)
Similar movies  Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Titanic, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Poseidon Adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Captain Phillips

China seas 1935 official trailer clark gable jean harlow movie hdq

China Seas is a 1935 adventure film starring Clark Gable as a brave sea captain, Jean Harlow as his brassy paramour, and Wallace Beery as an extremely suspicious-looking character. The oceangoing epic also features Lewis Stone, Rosalind Russell, Akim Tamiroff, and Hattie McDaniel, while humorist Robert Benchley memorably portrays a character reeling drunk from one end of the film to the other.


China Seas (film) movie scenes

The lavish MGM epic was written by James Kevin McGuinness and Jules Furthman from the book by Crosbie Garstin, and directed by Tay Garnett. This is one of only four sound films with Beery in which he didn't receive top billing.

China Seas (film) movie scenes

China seas 2nd cabin scene gable and harlow


China Seas (film) movie scenes

Alan Gaskell (Clark Gable) is the captain of a tramp steamer chugging between Singapore and Hong Kong. Dolly Portland (Jean Harlow) is Alan's former girlfriend who books passage on the steamer at the same time that another of Alan's former loves, aristocratic Sybil Barclay (Rosalind Russell), shows up. Jamesy McArdle (Wallace Beery) is a passenger, who is actually in league with a gang of pirates who plan to steal the gold shipment being carried on the steamer.

China Seas (film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbdvdboxart3774p3774dv8

In the calm following a typhoon the ship is boarded by the Malay pirates, as McArdle expected. Unable to find gold in the ships safe they torture Captain Gaskell using a Malay Boot but the Captain reveals nothing. While leaving the ship, without any gold, the pirate's ship is bombed by a passenger using Mills Bombs and strafed by Captain Gaskell. Frustrated by the failed robbery McArdle commits suicide. When the ship arrives in Singapore, Captain Gaskell, still limping due to the torture, reveals the gold was hidden inside the ship's cargo. 


  • Clark Gable as Captain Alan Gaskell
  • Jean Harlow as Dolly 'China Doll' Portland
  • Wallace Beery as Jamesy McArdle
  • Lewis Stone as Tom Davids
  • Rosalind Russell as Sybil Barclay
  • Dudley Digges as Dawson
  • C. Aubrey Smith as Sir Guy Wilmerding
  • Robert Benchley as Charlie McCaleb
  • Akim Tamiroff as Paul Romanoff
  • William Henry as Rockwell
  • Liev De Maigret as Mrs. Vollberg (credited as Live de Maigret)
  • Lilian Bond as Mrs. Timmons (credited as Lillian Bond)
  • Edward Brophy as Timmons
  • Soo Yong as Yu-Lan
  • Carol Ann Beery as Carol Ann
  • Ivan Lebedeff as Ngah
  • Hattie McDaniel as Isabel McCarthy, Dolly's Maid (uncredited)
  • Donald Meek as Passenger playing chess (uncredited)
  • Production

    Irving Thalberg had worked on the film since 1930 when he assigned three different writers to come up with three different treatments. By 1931 Thalberg had decided on the one storyline and spent the next four years working on a script with two dozen writers, half a dozen directors and three supervisors.

    Gable had several temper tantrums on the set, which were tolerated by MGM studio chief Louis B. Mayer because the star had recently won an Academy Award for Best Actor in It Happened One Night (1934) on a loan-out to Columbia Pictures, and he did not want to risk losing him. Mayer even tolerated that Gable risked his life by refusing a stunt double in a sequence in which he assisted numerous Chinese extras in roping in a runaway steamroller that crashed up and down the decks of the cantilevered studio ship.


    The film was a big hit earning $1,710,000 in the US and Canada and $1,157,000 elsewhere resulting in profits of $653,000.


    China Seas (film) Wikipedia
    China Seas (1935 film) IMDbChina Seas (film)

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