Review: ‘China Sky’

Pearl Buck's novel of the tenacity of Chinese guerrillas who harass the Japanese advance, and the American medico who runs the hospital in the key Chinese village, turns out far from the spectacular production it might have been. The guerrilla and fighting angle is played down, while stress is laid on interior sets and romantic conflict. As often happens, this lack of action wears the interest thin.

Pearl Buck’s novel of the tenacity of Chinese guerrillas who harass the Japanese advance, and the American medico who runs the hospital in the key Chinese village, turns out far from the spectacular production it might have been. The guerrilla and fighting angle is played down, while stress is laid on interior sets and romantic conflict. As often happens, this lack of action wears the interest thin.

Scripters and director are so concerned with the triangle between Randolph Scott, as the American doctor, his devoted hospital co-worker (Ruth Warrick), and his wife (Ellen Drew) that they neglect the story’s movement. There finally is a bangup battle at the end between Jap paratroopers and the guerrillas as a wounded Jap officer wangles info out to his forces, but it’s too late.

Scott is routine as the hospital head while Warrick is superb, but her role of the doctor’s assistant is not sufficient to carry the whole load.

China Sky

Production

RKO. Director Ray Enright; Producer Maurice Geraghty; Screenplay Brenda Weisberg, Joseph Hoffman; Camera Nicholas Musuraca; Editor Gene Milford; Music Roy Webb;; Art Director Albert S. D'Agostino, Ralph Berges

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1945. Running time: 78 MIN.

With

Randolph Scott Ruth Warrick Ellen Drew Anthony Quinn Carol Thurston Philip Ahn
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