China Gate

Sam Fuller

T. It.: La Porta Della Cina; Scen.: Samuel Fuller; F.: Joseph Biroc; Mo.: Gene Fowler Jr., Dean Harrison; Scgf.: John B. Mansbridge; Mu.: Max Steiner, Victor Young; Int.: Gene Barry (Brock), Angie Dickinson (Lucky Legs), Nat ‘King’ Cole (Goldie), Paul Dubov (Caumont), Lee Van Cleef (Cham), George Givot (Pigalle), Gerald Milton (Andreades), Neyle Mor- Row (Leung), Marcel Dalio (Padre Paul), Maurice Marsac (De Sars), Paul Busch (Kruger), James Hong (Charlie), Weaver Levy (Khuan); Prod.: Samuel Fuller Per Globe Enterprises; Pri. Pro.: 22 Maggio 1957; 35mm. D.: 97′. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

The film “is an adventure story set in Vietnam in the year 1954, “the hottest front in the world”, with war raging between the French colonial rulers and the Russian and Chinese-supported Viet-Minh revolutionaries. (…) China Gate opens with newsreel footage and narration giving the background of the Indochina war, and with typically swift, bold strokes Fuller moves from the historical perspective and crowds of anonymous faces to the immediate and personal, a single boy and his dog. In a bombed-out city that seems to have not a single interior intact, Fuller’s camera makes majestic, gliding crane shots as it follows the boy back to the roofless bar run by his mother, Lucky Legs – Angie Dickinson’s character. As in his previous “military mission” films, Fuller alternates between noisy action scenes and quiet – though often emotionally violent – “downtime” conversations between his diverse and always opinionated characters. (…) Of all Fuller’s films containing Cold War politics, China Gate is the one in which he most clearly takes side, at least tacitly endorsing his Legionnaires’s fight “for the whole Western world”. Still, the story is not without an ironic perspective on the glories of the “Western world”, since one of its representatives, Brock, is a brutal, callous racist, physically repulsed by the thought of his Asian-looking child”.

Lee Server, Samuel Fuller: Film is a Battleground, McFarland & Company, Jefferson-North Carolina, 1994

Copy From