China Gate

1957, Movie, NR, 96 mins


THE GREEN BERETS was not the first film to tell of the Vietnamese fight against communism. CHINA GATE was made ten years earlier, at a time when the French still controlled all of Vietnam. Chinese instigators are portrayed as the enemy, rather than the Vietnamese people themselves. The story concerns an American soldier of fortune, Barry, who joins up with his estranged wife, Dickinson, a Eurasian political activist, to lead a party of guerrillas on an expedition to destroy a Chinese Communist ammunition dump. The guerrillas are composed of a group of French Foreign Legionnaires. In addition to singing the title song, Cole renders a good performance as a war-weary American soldier in the legion. The trip is tough and tense, mostly because of the love-hate relationship between Barry and Dickinson. Their relationship is just beginning to mend when Dickinson is killed during the successful sabotage raid. The politics of the film were representative of the beliefs then held by this country towards the Vietnam problem, which wouldn't become a real problem for the US for a few more years. The talented composer Young died during the production. His score was finished by his friend Steiner. leave a comment

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