Oil for the Lamps of China

1935

Oil for the Lamps of China

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Movie Info

This drama about corporate treachery was based on the best-selling novel by Alice Tisdale Hobart. Stephen Chase (Pat O'Brien) is a salesman and inventor with an American oil company who is sent to China to reach that nation's untapped market. While Stephen is often told that his company looks after their own and he's selflessly devoted to his job, it becomes evident with time that they're treating him with disrespect. After his fiancée leaves him, Stephen marries a woman he's only just met, Hester (Josephine Hutchinson), because he's already arranged to bring a wife to China. Stephen has designed a new kerosene lamp for the Chinese market, but his rival Swaley (William B. Davidson) is given credit for the product. When Stephen is transferred to another part of China, he accepts even though his wife is expecting a baby; the physical toll of the journey causes Hester to lose the child. Stephen and Hester become close to another American couple, Don and Alice Wellman (John Eldredge and Jean Muir), but when Stephen is ordered to fire Don, he unhesitatingly agrees. After communist forces nationalize the oil firm's holdings, Stephen risks his life to protect $15,000 in company funds. But when he is released from the hospital, Stephen learns that instead of being rewarded, he's been demoted -- and another man was promoted in his place. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast

Pat O'Brien
as Stephen Chase
Josephine Hutchinson
as Hester Adams Chase
Jean Muir
as Alice Wellman
John Eldredge
as Don Wellman
Arthur Byron
as No. 1 Boss
Henry O'Neill
as Hartford
Donald Crisp
as MacCargar
Christian Rub
as Dr. Jorgen
Florence Fair
as Miss Cunningham
Joseph Crehan
as Clements
Keye Luke
as Young Chinese
Miki Morita
as Japanese Tailor
Teru Shimada
as Japanese Proprietor
Cyril Ring
as Graves
Bess Flowers
as Secretary
Lotus Liu
as Secretary
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