The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932) Rated NR

A Chinese warlord and an engaged Christian missionary fall in love. Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther, and Toshia Mori.

The Bitter Tea of General Yen is one of the first films to deal with interracial romance. As this was made before films were coded, it includes some racy scenes that are unusual for this period. I also found it quite amusing to have Nils Asther, a Swedish actor, portraying a Chinese warlord. The chemistry between Stanwyck and Asther was fun to watch, and the story was engaging. I did struggle with Stanwyck’s conflict of falling in love with a Chinese man while she is engaged to another man. The film is enjoyable to watch, but it’s not one that will make you go “Wow!” It’s still worth a watch.

 

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