(Be careful with this review, because it has some spoilers). Good movie, but von Sternberg concentrates too much in love story although having a great environment and set, with characters (played by good actors) concentrated in such a tension moment that is not fully employed by the director. Von Sternberg, once again, successes with the mix of characters in a exotic location and in the relations between them, but in this case (strange in him) looks too much for the classic sense of morality. Also, some more of the spirit of film noir would have been needed: in this case, the minimalistic approach of old movies goes against the scenography, which could have been much worked (darkness, shadows, sights, not-said words, different compartments, and a lesser simplicity of the stage). So, in summary, a very good idea that is just well (not magnifically) executed, which could have been better if the crucial moments had been longer time, weigh and significance in the movie -in some moments, it seems that the Chinese rebel army are just a group of four friends-. Also, the "good" and "bad" men of the movie would need better actitudes. It comes to my mind that maybe a direction from Fritz Lang or other film noir master, or a good modern remake (a good one, not the usual) could improve it to perfection.