An excellent Capra film, one of his less remembered masterpieces, up there with American Madness in that regard. This one almost has a feel of Sternberg as mentioned by others or even Murnau at times. The plot is interesting, but its carried by the great performances by Stanwyck and co and the general moody atmosphere. A gem from the pre-Code, worth seeking out for sure. 4.5 stars
Monumental Chinxploitation of mythic proportions, this elaborate troll, via lens of Occidental Christianity against itself (Yen as ultimate romantic martyr) borders quasi-excessive amidst its skins of racial irony. Trolldom in using intricately sensual ornamentation, of demure psychosexuality in miscegenetic exotica, to eventually expose a most delicate true love brings about an interwoven complexity unprecedented.
Lesser known Capra film starring Barbara Stanwyck as a missionary taken by a Chinese warlord who finds herself being 'converted' by him instead. Stanwyck is great in this atmospheric and engaging drama but it's Nils Asther , who regardless of the discriminatory hiring policies of the studios at the time, who carries the film portraying the title role. Very well written script with memorable camera work by J. Walker.
One of the most open minded Pre-Code films I've seen, in which the oriental culture is not solely ridiculed, but also given a chance to show its worth compared to Christianity. The weird dreams Megan has of Yen makes it no ordinary romance too, but a rather vulgar and unclear one. Full of practical philosophical depth and interesting characters like Jones, making this a beautiful story in a relatively unbiased way.
What a marvelous,daring,dark and intringuin drama.A movie to watch again and again and always feel how astonishing it is.I loved every thing and every second:The chinese cenarios,the double crossing concubine.Nils Ashter,the renegade,that daring Barbara and those beautiful last lines of the Renegade.