China Seas

Vintage MGM hokum (1935) with more assets than you can shake a swizzle stick at: Clark Gable (as a sea captain sailing from Hong Kong to Singapore), Rosalind Russell (for upscale romance), Jean Harlow (for downscale romance), C. Aubrey Smith (for colonialist nostalgia), Robert Benchley (for drunk jokes), plus character turns by Wallace Beery and Lewis Stone. Pirates and a hidden cache of British gold notwithstanding, the raucous action is more diversion than plot. Jules Furthman wrote the salty, snappy dialogue, and Tay Garnett, a specialist in studio-bound sea yarns, directed. 87 min. (JR)

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