China Seas (1935)



I recently watched China Seas (1935) and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's humorous and dramatic as well as being hella sexy. A ship captain has to juggle his sexual feelings for floozy Dolly Portland and his lingering feelings for uppity Mrs. Barclay. All the while a band of pirates are plotting to capture the gold aboard the ship. What's a captain to do? This film has a wonderful cast

  • Clark Gable as Captain Gaskell - A sharp-tongued but soft-hearted sea captain.
  • Jean Harlow as Dolly Portland - The blonde-haired floozy who's got it bad for her toots, Gaskell.
  • Rosalind Russell as Mrs. Barclay - The uppity widower who traveled far to woo Gaskell again.
  • Robert Benchley as Charlie McCaleb - The perpetually drunk author who hasn't got a clue.
  • Lewis Stone as Tom Davids - The disgraced officer given another chance to prove himself.
  • Wallace Beery as Jamesy - The ruthless pirate leader who is smitten with Dolly.
  • Hattie McDaniel as Isabel - Dolly's fashionable and straight-talking maid.

The dialogue is sharp, crisp and quite hilarious. My favorite lines are uttered by the fast-talking Jean Harlow who made them all reflect her character's liveliness and desperation. Here are some of the gems.


Nothing alarming, just showering the dewdrops off the body beautiful.

That's just the soup I'm in.

Get on the belt line and keep them coming!

Come out of the trenches, I'm not gonna throw any bombs. I'm harmless.

You can't quit me anymore than I can quit you. And you can kiss a stack of cookbooks on that!

When a woman can love a man right down to her fingertips, she can hate him the same way.

Come on, Jamesy. Let's you and me take a powder.
(I thought this might be referring to that infamous white powder. However, it just indicates leaving to go somewhere else, like the "powder room".)


8 comments:

  1. Thanks - It's time for a re-watching.

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  2. Good Lord! I haven't seen this one!

    A little trivia, Garbo and Lewis Stone were pals. Mutual respect kind of pals that is.

    And you can kiss a stack of cookbooks on that!

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  3. GREAT WRITE UP, I LOVED THIS MOVIE AND THOUGHT CLARK WAS AMAZING IN IT AS ALWAYS...

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  4. Looks great! I love silly/sexy Jean Harlow movies. :)

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  5. Bill - enjoy!

    Jonas - Where are my cookbooks?

    MTR - I agree, Clark was excellent.

    Ginger - Harlow mastered the silly/sexy genre didn't she?

    Carrie - Oh yes. Benchley = awesome, so it just added to the hilarity.

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  6. China Seas was one of three or four Jean Harlow movies I saw in a short period of time and she won me over rather quickly!

    Oh, and any movie with Robert Benchley makes it a must-have! Nice screen caps, btw.

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  7. I just watched China Seas again and this time it was to focus on Roz Russell. I was so impressed with how much she gets into her character; she's miles away from her usual roles as a tough dame.

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