Directed by Ray Enright • 1945 • United States
Starring Randolph Scott, Ruth Warrick, Ellen Drew
Introduction: This film has been programmed as part of the series Hollywood Chinese, a survey on the history of Chinese representation in American cinema, curated by filmmaker Arthur Dong. He notes: “CHINA SKY is emblematic of Hollywood’s World War II films that took place in China, replete with a white savior, a bigoted protagonist, yellowfaced actors, and the hiring of Chinese American actors (Richard Loo) to play evil Japanese characters since Japanese American actors were interned by the US government. But it’s child actor Ducky Louie who is memorable as a spunky helper who behaves like an all-American kid, even if he’s a native Chinese—but that’s Hollywood.” For further context, we recommend watching Mr. Dong’s series introduction and his documentary HOLLYWOOD CHINESE, now playing on the Channel.
China. World War II. Two American doctors, Dr. Gray Thompson (Randolph Scott) and Dr. Sara Durand (Ruth Warrick), have a close working relationship at their village hospital. But they do not realize how close they have become until Thompson returns with his new bride, Louise (Ellen Drew). Now as the war overtakes this small town, Thompson must balance his dedication to the local people, his conviction to aid everyone—including wounded Japanese soldiers—and his wife’s inability to adapt to life in rural China. Anthony Quinn costars as Chinese rebel leader Chen Ta in this adaptation of the novel by Pearl S. Buck.