The General Died at Dawn

1936

Adventure / Romance / Thriller

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 50%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 1164

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 17, 2021 at 10:26 PM

Cast

Madeleine Carroll as Judy Perrie
Porter Hall as Peter Perrie
Gary Cooper as O'Hara
William Frawley as Brighton
720p.BLU
900.49 MB
1280*944
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S 19 / 52

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kalismandaniel 8 / 10

Dark and wonderful

I was surprised at the low rating for this film at IMDb, 6.7 as of this writing. I found it a very enjoyable film. I'm a sucker for strong, moody visuals, and this film sure has them. In fact, about half way through I began to wonder, with all the shadows and fishing nets, if this were a Von Sternberg film. The script, which some reviewers found too wordy or too preachy, I found very engaging. The pacing was excellent.

Some reviewers have taken offense at the two main Chinese characters being played by occidentals who spoke pigeon English. Well, that's how films were made back then. Sure it seems unfair to modern viewers. It was unfair. Is that reason to trash the whole film? The Asian actors who had speaking roles came across as intelligent and well spoken.

If you're in the mood for some dark, exotic espionage, I definitely recommend this.

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 8 / 10

Interesting Characters & Film

Thanks to the cast of characters in here, led by the wise-cracking Gary Cooper and a pretty Madeline Carroll, this was a pretty interesting film. Some of the minor characters also made this movie to fun, notably Akim Tamiroff's "General Yang," as well as Bill Frawley''s "Brighton;" Porter Hall's "Peter Prrie/Peter Martin" and Dudley Digges' creepy busybody "Mr. Wu."

Nowaday, Digges and Tamiroff's characters would be played by real Asian actors and would be a bit more credible. Also, in a real-life situation, Cooper would have been eliminated early on after the bad guys had gotten his money.

Nevertheless, credibility issues aside (which you have to do in most movies, anyway, old and new), the good dialog, interesting faces, characters and cinematography all make this movie a lot better than I expected.

Reviewed by oldblackandwhite 8 / 10

Cinematography, Madeleine Carroll Stunning In Lewis Milestone Classic

Lewis Milestone is surely one of the most under-appreciated directors from Hollywood's Golden Era. He may be the best example to illustrate how cinematographers and film editors have less to do with how good a movie looks than the director himself. Lewis Milestone's pictures exhibit the same fluid, sensuous, exhilarating black and white cinematography and silky smooth scene changes no matter who his camera man and editor were. The fluid movement of his camera was his trade mark and an innovative style much copied, especially in the 'forties. He is in fact credited with the invention of the camera dolly while filming the early talkie classic All Quiet On The Western Front (1930).

In The General Died At Dawn the gorgeous cinematography finds a worthy subject of concentration in the breath-taking beauty of leading lady Madeleine Carroll, who plays a tormented femme fa-tale, manipulated into wicked and even murderous money-making schemes by her terminally ill and morally challenged father (Porter Hall). When she has to lure idealistic soldier of fortune Gary Cooper into the clutches of cruel, tyrannical Chinese warlord Akim Tamiroff, she quite naturally falls in love with him -- Cooper, not Tamiroff, of course! Miss Carol has never looked lovelier than in this picture. As she reached thirty years of age, a dawning maturity was adding character to her beauty and endowing her gorgeous face with an aching sensuality. Okay, trying to describe what makes a beautiful woman that way is like trying to describe what makes Oreo cookies taste so good. Believe me, Madeleine had it! Not to mention, she was a terrific actress!

When Gary Cooper is on screen, he doesn't have to worry about anyone stealing attention, even a beaut like Madeline Carroll. Tamiroff, who earned an Accademy Award nomination for his role, is bizarrely riveting, as he was in nearly every movie appearance. Good support is also provided by Hall in one of his best performances, Dudley Digges, and William Frawley. Frawley is rather irritating, as in all his roles, but it was intended here.

The plot is confusing at times, and doesn't always make complete sense, but it wasn't so difficult to keep up with as others have carried on. Compared to, say, The Big Sleep (1946), it was as easy to follow as The Three Little Pigs. Whatever the story, Milestone knew how to reel it out in a way that would keep your peepers glued to the screen. This style of suspenseful story-telling immersed in eye-grabbing cinematography would be honed to a fine edge in the next decade with his masterpieces Edge Of Darkness (1943) (see my review) and The Strange Loves of Martha Ivers (1946). In fact this 1936 movie's flowing camera work, oblique angles, frequent night scenes, and dark, brutal story seem to be pointing the way to the stylish noir thrillers of the next decade.

The General Died At Dawn has everything you could ask from a movie -- top stars, exciting action, gorgeous cinematography. Top-notch Old Hollywood entertainment from the smoothest of the smooth, Lewis Milestone!

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