China Gate (1957)




Director:     Samuel Fuller. 

Starring:     Gene Barry (Sgt. Brock), Angie Dickinson (Lucky Legs), Nat 'King' Cole (Goldie), Paul Dubov (Capt. Caumont), Lee Van Cleef (Maj. Cham), George Givot (Cpl. Pigalle), Gerald Milton (Pvt. Andreades), Neyle Morrow (Leung), Marcel Dalio (Father Paul), Maurice Marsac (Col. De Sars), Warren Hsieh (The Boy), Paul Busch (Cpl. Kruger), James Hong (Charlie), William Soo Hoo (Moi Leader), Walter Soo Hoo (Guard).

 piece of American propaganda that is a gross overstatement of the role of China in the war against French colonialism and the Vietnam War, trying to make it into a pseudo-Korean War


The purpose of the film is to try and convince the viewer that the Chinese were the major force behind the success of Vietnam troops against the French colonialists and that China will be the major force behind the Vietnamese in their fight against the USA, which decided to see Vietnam as Korea where they just had to take a strong anti-communist stance and fight a war in Vietnam.  The Vietnam War was nothing like the Korean War.  In Korea the Chinese came into the war because they thought that the USA was going to take all of North Korea and keep it.  They felt threatened and came into the war.  Another big difference between Korea and Vietnam is that North Korea was controlled by the Soviet Union.  The Soviet Union called the shots there.  In Vietnam nationalists were largely in charge of the situation.  They were nationalists first and foremost, and communism was a much less important factor than the desire for Vietnam independence. 

The USA has a history of going crazy and such was the case of the communist super-fear.  They thought that all communists were the same.  But that just wasn't true.  Vietnam is now an independent nation, not a satellite of communist China.  And we know from hindsight that the Chinese never brought its armies into the Vietnam War. 

Angie Dickinson is kind of wasted in the film because she is mostly in ugly, jungle clothing.  She does look great on the few occasions where she is dressed in flattering clothing.  Nat King Cole was good in his roll, but the song he has to sing was pretty bad. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.



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