The General Died At Dawn

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The General Died at Dawn is a 1936 American drama film that tells the story of a mercenary who meets a beautiful girl while trying to keep arms from getting to a vicious warlord in war-torn China. The movie was written by Charles G. read more

The General Died at Dawn is a 1936 American drama film that tells the story of a mercenary who meets a beautiful girl while trying to keep arms from getting to a vicious warlord in war-torn China. The movie was written by Charles G. Booth and Clifford Odets, and directed by Lewis Milestone. It stars Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll, Akim Tamiroff, and Dudley Digges. Director Milestone has a cameo role. The movie was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Akim Tamiroff), Best Cinematography, and Best Music, Score. There are several scenes in the film that show startling originality at the time. At one point, the camera focuses on a white door knob, and then dissolves to a white billiard ball to connect disparate scenes. In another scene, two characters have a conversation in which they speculate about the fates of other characters in the drama. The answers to their questions appear in screen segments in the corners of the screen, marking an unusual use of split screen to join narrative. The main character, O'Hara, is based on the real-life Anglo-Canadian Jewish adventurer Morris Abraham "Two-Gun" Cohen. During the early 1930s, Cohen ran guns for various warlords in mainland China. This is reported to be the first film to use foam latex prosthetics. Makeup artist Charles Gemora applied sponge rubber eyelids for one of the actors. John Howard Reid called it one of the fifty finest films Hollywood ever made.

Original Release

09/02/1936

Cast

(see additional cast & crew)

Directors

Lewis Milestone

Writers

Clifford Odets, Charles G. Booth

Cast

Akim Tamiroff Gen. Yang
Dudley Digges Mr. Wu
Gary Cooper O'Hara
Madeleine Carroll Judy Perrie
Porter Hall Peter Perrie
William Frawley Brighton
John O'Hara Newspaper Reporter on Train
J.M. Kerrigan Leach
Philip Ahn Oxford
Leonid Kinskey Stewart
Paul Harvey
Willie Fung Bartender
Lee Tung Foo Mr. Chen (as Lee Tung-Foo)
Val Duran Wong
Hans Fuerberg Yang's Military Advisor (as Hans Furberg)
Russell Hicks Man Asking for Match

Producers

Editors

Eda Warren

1937 Oscar Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
1937 Oscar Best Cinematography Nominated
1937 Oscar Best Music, Score Nominated
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