Ruth Warrick, Randolph Scott and Anthony Quinn in China Sky (1945)

Plain China

As Japanese forces descend on China Dr. Sara Durand (Ruth Warrick) works at a village hospital high up in the mountains waiting for the return of Dr. Gray Thompson (Randolph Scott - The Desperadoes) who has been in America for supplies. What Dr. Gray doesn't realise is that Sara is fond of him and so when he returns with a wife, having married the spoilt Louise (Ellen Drew) it causes plenty of tension as Louise is jealous of the pretty Sara. But that is not the only problem at the hospital as after insurgent leader Chen-Ta (Anthony Quinn) brings in Japanese Col. Yasuda (Richard Loo) who he shot, the injured colonel tries to get into the head of Dr. Kim (Philip Ahn) who feels as a man he is over looked by the women at the hospital and his betrothed Siu-Mei (Carol Thurston).

As movies go there is very little to say about "China Sky" a rather ordinary movie with not a lot going for it. It's not that there is anything seriously wrong with it, yes Anthony Quinn cast as a Chinese man is poor casting full stop, but there are no major faults it is just a case of being forgettable. As Randolph Scott is reported to have said "China Sky" is disappointing, but only for being nothing special.

Randolph Scott and Ellen Drew in China Sky (1945)

I suppose what is wrong with "China Sky" is that the real focus of the movie is a matrimonial melodrama as Sara is secretly in love with Gray and his bitchy wife Louise is not only jealous because she is pretty but also because she realises it. There is some nice moments as Louise sharpens her claws and lets Sara know that she is aware of her feelings but that is about as entertaining as it gets. If only the focus had been more on the upset and jealous Dr. Kim it would have been far more interesting.

Because the storyline ends up forgettably ordinary the performances also end up forgettable with Randolph Scott relying on his smile and charm to try and make the character of Dr. Gray interesting. Ruth Warrick and Ellen Drew fair a little better as Sara and Louise purely because they have the best dialogue when they cross swords over Gray. But then there is also Anthony Quinn cast as insurgent leader Chen-Ta and whilst in today's world it is politically incorrect it is also just an unbelievable piece of casting as Quinn looks nothing like a Chinese man. Quinn is not the only one as Carol Thurston is also cast as a Chinese woman who thankfully is a little bit more believable.

What this all boils down to is that "China Sky" is one of those movies you watch because you follow one of the stars but afterwards you will have forgotten all about it within days.