The Inn of the Sixth Happiness - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness Reviews

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January 26, 2017
It was great to see a movie shot "on location". Bergman was a treasure!
September 21, 2016
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness is an excellent film. It is about Gladys Aylward who knew that China was the place where she belonged. Ingrid Bergman and Robert Donat give amazing performances. The screenplay is well written. Mark Robson did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness is a must see.
½ April 2, 2016
Well done movie, good production valyes, excellent acting, Occidental actors Jurgens and Donat were used in stead of Orientals reducing the genuineness of the story. The most disappointing aspect is the unresolved love story between the Jurgens and Bergman roles. Yes they love each other but never get past the first kiss due to circumstances - mainly the movie ran out of time.
February 7, 2016
While the film takes some liberties from the actual story, great film overall. What an incredible life this woman lived! Great acting from ingrid. A great epic of a film. Entirely captivating and wonderfully told. Good family film.
January 19, 2016
I loved this movie. It combines an intensely personal story with a compelling plot.
½ October 16, 2015
Troubled by the lack of Chinese actors in main roles, but enjoyed the "This Old Man" song as they crossed the mountains when they were supposed to be stealthy...
January 23, 2015
This was a good movie. The accents were a but mish-mashed, not all the actors were all that great, it fell into a repetitive pattern to the point where it became predictable, and some parts were a bit forcefully sappy. However, it was still a well made movie with heart and is worth the watch.
November 14, 2014
A grand story that perhaps only Bergman could have pulled off at that time.
August 24, 2014
One of my favorite movies
July 27, 2014
my dad's suggestions
May 4, 2014
Such a wonderful movie!!!
½ January 17, 2014
A beautiful epic about one woman's dream and calling from God to be a missionary in China.

The film is centred on Ingrid Bergman's performance and it is an excellent one at that. Filled with massive locations & scenery but a beautiful personal story of women helping others.

I found this film very inspiring & her story is an incredible one & amazingly all true. This is a must see classic & powerful story about others. Keep an eye out for the prison riot scene very stirring.
Super Reviewer
November 4, 2013
It isn't a white man in China but rather a white woman saving the day. For that point alone, I reduce it by a star but you can't stay too upset with this film. It has good performances and an interesting story line.
April 23, 2013
An important war story to tell - but this attempt just doesn't do justice to the tale.
½ January 24, 2013
A beautiful story , very nicely represented with good direction and acting
Super Reviewer
½ January 20, 2013
The Inn Of The Sixth Happiness tells the story of Gladys Aylward, her fight to become a missionary in China and the events after her arrival. It is a moving, inspirational and wholesome tale of determination, charity, endurance and love, told in a typical 1950's Hollywood style. My parents would refer to this type of movie as a "Sunday afternoon matinee". The story is a good one, deserves to be told and Gladys was an amazing woman. During this period, China was experiencing some of the biggest cultural shifts and changes in its history and Gladys was a big part of it.

That being said the movie does have its faults. The characters seem to be a very mixed bag. You have an English lady, played by a Swede. A German, playing a Eurasian officer. And a Chinese Mandarin played by an English gent. I don't think that this was the most credible cast that Mark Robson (Director) could have put together. I think more time should have been spent sourcing a more accurate cast for a film that puts such importance on nationality. There is no doubting Ingrid Bergman's ability, she doesn't give her best performance but her acting is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. For her role, I guess I would have been more inclined to look at Vivian Lee, Deborah Kerr or Googie Withers. Again, not taking anything away from Ingrid Bergman, she is a first rate actress but I do feel it was clear on many occasions that Gladys should have been played by an English actress. I feel the same way about Curd Jürgens. Great actor, but why appoint a German to play a Eurasian? Moving on to Robert Donat, I am definitely a fan. He is yet another great actor. His abilities as displayed in Goodbye Mr. Chips, The Citadel and The 39 Steps are brilliant. But to play a Chinese Mandarin was a step too far, it just wasn't believable. For the legend that is Robert Donat, this should not have been his final film (he died the same year it was released aged 53).

I think Robson was mainly concerned with what was easily available and what he had access to at the time he made The Inn Of The Sixth Happiness. This mentality is seen in his use of the mountains of North Wales rather than China. However, I must add that on this occasion the location was suitable and a success. I thought that they were in China when I watched the movie as I am sure nearly everyone else did. Be it Welsh or Chinese mountains, the cinematography is very good. The height, expanse and texture are all impressively conveyed to the viewer. I would say that out of the whole film the mountain scenes are the most moving and touching part. The stunning scene where Gladys comes over the peaks followed by 100 singing children is both stirring and heartrending. It gives me goosebumps. You really do fill with compassion and this carries through to the end of the film. I feel this is a great visual metaphor for Gladys' life as a whole.

The Inn Of The Sixth Happiness is a good movie and as I have said, tells a worthwhile story. It teaches us about courage and doing the right thing. When Gladys is outside the prison I particularly like the line "Yes, I am afraid. Open the gate". Unfortunately due to a few errors of judgement, it misses out on being the great classic I feel it should have been. One major issue is the length of the movie. Running 158 minutes was just too long considering what filled that time. I feel it could have been cut down to at least 110 minutes. The final product would have been a sharper, more exciting and polished film. I feel that the decision to add in a fictional love interest was foolish. I understand that Robson was trying to increase the drama and warmth of the story with this and to add a new dimension by having a trio of main characters. But I feel that with the depth to Gladys' story and the amount the movie had already committed to covering, an additional side story was not required. Besides, the relationships between the existing characters were enough to pull at the heart strings.

Over the last few years America has gone mad on remaking old classics. They say they are bringing movies of yesteryear to a new audience. I would argue that old classics cannot be bettered and should not be touched. And surely, by bringing the latest version to the youth of today rather than bringing it to a new audience, you are voiding the original for them. Why The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Wicker Man, War Of The Worlds, The Italian Job, King Kong, Planet of the Apes, The Omen, Clash of the Titans, The Pink Panther, Get Carter and Psycho were ever even considered for a remake is beyond me. However, I can see why someone may consider giving the The Inn Of The Sixth Happiness a makeover and retelling the story of Gladys Aylward. I for one, would be very interested to see what could be done in a modern production.
October 15, 2012
Every time I watch this I see a different story line. Love this movie!
July 25, 2012
Though a relatively simple story (albeit true!), its a nice piece of classic cinema. To cut a long story short, this film is an ideal sunday afternoon lazy day watch. The story itself is very endearing and inspiring, benefits enormously from the fact it is based on actual fact. Ingrid Bergman plays her part rather well, though her upper class english accent was contested by Gladys Aylward pride of being cockney! Though her acting is completly sympathetic to the movie and its a role that needed to work for this film. However, I feel the casting could have been better for the chinese and male roles, it felt that it was a tad out of place to put Robert Donat as an emperor "Mandarin". It seemed to make the film more dated than it should have been. What impressed me most was the fact it was film in WALES!! You would never of guessed, even the chinese children were scousers haha! I think you look at the cinematography and the general direction for the film, it feels as if it could have been something like from Aguirre: Wrath of God or Fitzcarraldo, which are both my favourite films. It really has to be noted that this really improved the film for me, when I noticed just how much effort must have been put into this film. One other minor problem is the music, its not too bad but for some reason the motif sounds like the start of the classic song "Blue Moon", its rather offputing since this motif is played every 15 mins! I think though, this is a well constructed film that though feels a bit aged, it is a great story to tell and also to read up upon. Watch this and you won't regret it.
July 17, 2012
Though a relatively simple story (albeit true!), its a nice piece of classic cinema.
To cut a long story short, this film is an ideal sunday afternoon lazy day watch. The story itself is very endearing and inspiring, benefits enormously from the fact it is based on actual fact. Ingrid Bergman plays her part rather well, though her upper class english accent was contested by Gladys Aylward pride of being cockney! Though her acting is completly sympathetic to the movie and its a role that needed to work for this film. However, I feel the casting could have been better for the chinese and male roles, it felt that it was a tad out of place to put Robert Donat as an emperor "Mandarin". It seemed to make the film more dated than it should have been.
What impressed me most was the fact it was film in WALES!! You would never of guessed, even the chinese children were scousers haha! I think you look at the cinematography and the general direction for the film, it feels as if it could have been something like from Aguirre: Wrath of God or Fitzcarraldo, which are both my favourite films. It really has to be noted that this really improved the film for me, when I noticed just how much effort must have been put into this film.
One other minor problem is the music, its not too bad but for some reason the motif sounds like the start of the classic song "Blue Moon", its rather offputing since this motif is played every 15 mins!
I think though, this is a well constructed film that though feels a bit aged, it is a great story to tell and also to read up upon. Watch this and you won't regret it.
½ July 15, 2012
Average film about a tremendous woman, but goes on for far too long.
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