Now on DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and director Mark Robson is the 1958 magnificent classic THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS.
This film tells the story of Gladys Aylward (Ingrid Bergman), a woman whose dream it is to go to China. Believing this is her destiny, Gladys volunteers to become a missionary. After being turned down this determined woman becomes a housekeeper to save the money to go on her own.
Once in China she meets Ms. Lawson (Athene Seyler), an elderly woman who runs an Inn and also has the opportunity to share her religious beliefs. Excited to meet Gladys, the pair begin cleaning out and sprucing up the Inn.
Living in the Mandarin village she also comes to meet The Mandarin of Yang Cheng (Robert Donate) who gives her a job as an official Foot Inspector stopping the practice of binding the feet of little girls. As time goes on the villages from miles around know of the female official now called Jen-Ai.
She also meets Capt. Lin Nan (Curt Jurgens), an officer whose one goal it is to protect China from the invasion of Japan. It becomes clear that his heart is with Jen-Ai and the children she has come to care for.
As it becomes clear that the Japanese are coming, Jen-Ai must take an arduous journey away from her beloved village and Captain. She only knows how to save those she has come to love!
FINAL WORD: Bergman as Gladys/Jen-Ai is sublime in this role. Yes, I am a bit partial in thinking Ms. Bergman never played a bad role. In this film she brings a passion, beauty and gentleness required to sustain the story. The film takes its time to tell the story that spans a growing time period. I absolutely adore when a film takes all the time it needs to be faithful to the story and give the viewer more than they could hope for.
Jurgens as Captain Nan is a swooner. Basically in plain-speak it means he presents himself as such a hard case and very military yet, when it comes to Jen-Ai and the children he is a softy, which makes women swoon. In 1958 that’s exactly how Jurgens would be seen. I wasn’t born then but my mother, who was also a film lover, started me early watching these epic films and THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS was and still provides the swoon factor so thank you Mr. Jurgens!
Donate as Yang Cheng is mischievous and hilarious all at the same time. Having to run his village he always manages to get Jen-Ai to make things right. Being the wise Solomon of his people, they trust him and he trusts Jen-Ai. Even as the village falls he is a strong leader who only wants what’s right for his people. Donate plays this role to perfection with a dash of charm!
Other cast include: Michael David as Hok-A, Ronald Squire as Sir Francis Jamison, Moultrie Kelsall as Dr. Robinson, Richard Wattis as Mr. Murfin, Peter Cong as Yang, Tsai Chin as Sui-Lan, Edith Sharpe as Secretary at China Inland Mission, Burt Kwouk as Li and Noel Hood as Miss Thompson.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. THIS film is absolutely what filmmaking is all about. Everything is taken into account from the magnificent cinematography that tells its own story, to music that moves the viewer further into the story and a stunning cast that not only plays their roles but also embraces them.
If you are a fan of the classics, as I am, then THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS will definitely be a must-have. Bergman and Jurgens make this film stunningly beautiful with emotions and with flawless performances.
The DVD Blu-ray includes the 156 minute film, commentary with Nick Redman, Aubrey Solomon and Donald Spoto and Fox Movietone News: THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS Rapturous and World Premier.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has an award-winning global entertainment content with amazing DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD programming. To discover more of what you love in film go to www.foxconnect.com.
In the end – love comes under the China sky!