Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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An uneasy mix of political and religious drama with some troubling messages and actions from the characters. One particular end result is actually head shakingly nonsensical and negates much of what has gone before. Most of the performances are good but Clifton Webb is especially fine in his last role, noble and vinegary as only he could be.
It is an interesting story, but very sad ending.
I am not a fan of Pearl Buck which is the author on which the movie is based, or really bad Asian stereotypes but like a bad car wreck on the freeway, you have t o slow down even when you don't want to look. The movie would have been fine, but the ending in which the girl who was raped and had a baby, agrees to marry the rapist- who suddenly decides he is no longer a Communist once his life is in danger, and all is good in the end? William Holden is a great actor- he seems to end up in a lot of these movies. I know that in reality that the girl would probably have been forced into the marriage- she was kciked out of her family home, but she would not have been happy about it, and probably not have continued with the marriage once she reached freedom in Hong Kong. I wonder if there are any Western movies that portray Asian culture without some sort of paternalistic twist?
Back in the days when movies were called "motion pictures" it didn't matter if your extras were Chinese, even though the movie was set in China. When the acting was a little exaggerated as it would be on stage. The cultural paradigms of the time really came through, but I was enchanted by France Nuyen, and disappointed that now she has really short, dyed-blonde hair... she doesn't even look Asian anymore!
the main thing that holded my attention was the bond between the priest and the asian girl, funny moments of course, she just doesn't give up trying to be friends with him. Also this film also touches a bit on the themes of raising a child which I wish Leo cCarey could make more of...
Most of the film I really liked. But the ending wasn't very well done - the bad guy is suddenly accepted as a good guy. But is it a lesson in forgiveness?
A story of missionary priests in China during the Communist take over. Clifton Webb's last role.