Set in 1949-50 Hong Kong, it tells the story of a married, but separated, American reporter (played by William Holden), who falls in love with a Eurasian doctor originally from Mainland China (played by Jennifer Jones), only to encounter prejudice from her family and from Hong Kong society.
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Love Is a Many-Splendored ThingDirected byHenry King
Henry King's melodrama may seem simple, even naive, by today's standards - a tragic romance between a Eurasian doctor and a dashing American journalist set in the exotic locale of Hong Kong against the backdrop of the looming Korean War - but despite its soapy origins it's actually a rather fascinating exploration of interracial romance in defiance of societal standards, something almost revolutionary for 1955.
irupeux et répugnant comme une coulée de mélasse frelatée, avec un William Holden en insipide ectoplasme, monolithique tel un zombie exsangue, un cinémascope "DeLuxecolor" aux couleurs fadasses et baveuses et une pesante histoire mielleuse à souhait, d'une incroyable fadeur émotive et passionnelle... www.cinefiches.com
This gets 5 stars as thanks for the number of times I've quoted it. "I can hear and smell the sun..." I used to hypothesize that the script was written in one night, then left to the great Jennifer Jones to interpret in her odd, artificial yet somehow moving way. Layers of cultural wrongness that keep peeling off here. But it's not her fault.
A matter of life & death, shared cigarettes & silly butterflies. This film proves to us that "many-splendored" things can go hand in hand with the most absurd superstitions (and speaking of superstition, when Third Uncle said that line - "We shall now have tea and speak of absurdities." - I was actually drinking tea). Also, the lovers' hill reminded me a oriental, peaceful version of Wuthering Heights. Truly moving.