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55 Days at Peking (29-May-1963)

Director: Nicholas Ray

Writers: Philip Yordan; Bernard Gordon

Music Composed and Conducted by: Dimitri Tiomkin

Producer: Samuel Bronston

Keywords: Drama, Boxer Rebellion

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Harry Andrews
10-Nov-1911 6-Mar-1989 The Agony and the Ecstasy
Ava Gardner
24-Dec-1922 25-Jan-1990 The Barefoot Contessa
Leo Genn
9-Aug-1905 26-Jan-1978 Quo Vadis
Walter Gotell
15-Mar-1924 5-May-1997 Gen. Gogol in James Bond films
Charlton Heston
4-Oct-1923 5-Apr-2008 The Ten Commandments
John Ireland
30-Jan-1914 21-Mar-1992 All the King's Men
Juzo Itami
Film Director
15-May-1933 20-Dec-1997 Tampopo
Mervyn Johns
18-Feb-1899 6-Sep-1992 Dead of Night
Kurt Kasznar
13-Aug-1913 6-Aug-1979 Fitzhugh on Land of the Giants
Paul Lukas
26-May-1887 15-Aug-1971 Watch on the Rhine
David Niven
1-Mar-1909 29-Jul-1983 Pencil-moustachioed actor
Eric Pohlmann
18-Jul-1913 25-Jul-1979 They Who Dare
Flora Robson
28-Mar-1902 7-Jul-1984 Fire Over England


Charlton Heston   ...   Maj. Matt Lewis
Ava Gardner   ...   Baroness Natalie Ivanoff
David Niven   ...   Sir Arthur Robertson
Flora Robson   ...   The Dowager Empress Tzu-Hsi
John Ireland   ...   Sgt. Harry
Harry Andrews   ...   Father de Bearn
Leo Genn   ...   Gen. Jung-Lu
Robert Helpmann   ...   Prince Tuan
Kurt Kasznar   ...   Baron Sergei Ivanoff
Philippe Leroy   ...   Julliard
Paul Lukas   ...   Dr. Steinfeldt
Elizabeth Sellars   ...   Lady Sarah Robertson
Massimo Serato   ...   Garibaldi
Jacques Sernas   ...   Maj. Bobrinski
Jerome Thor   ...   Lt. Andy Marshall
Geoffrey Bayldon   ...   Smythe
Joseph Furst   ...   Capt. Hanselman
Walter Gotell   ...   Capt. Hoffman
Ichizu Itami   ...   Col. Shiba
Mervyn Johns   ...   Clergyman
Alfredo Mayo   ...   Spanish Minister
Martin Miller   ...   Hugo Bergmann
Conchita Montes   ...   Madame Gaumaire
Jose Nieto   ...   Italian Minister
Eric Pohlmann   ...   Baron von Meck
Aram Stephan   ...   Gaumaire
Robert Urquhart   ...   Capt. Hanley
Lynne Sue Moon   ...   Teresa


Review by mumford (posted on 24-Mar-2008)

One of Samuel Bronstons "epics" of the 60's 55 Days at Peking is notable for its lavish sets, thousands of extras and "big" name stars. Similar formulas were used for The Fall Of The Roman Empire, El Cid and King of Kings with variable results. 55 Days was a box office failure but all things considered not too bad. You won't remember much after viewing the film but it has its moments. Of course the casting is all over the map with non Asian actors playing the Chinese. Flora Robeson plays the Empress with authority, David Niven walks through his part and Charlton Heston is well, Charlton Heston. Wooden as an old utility pole. Boy was he ever terrible most of the time. Ava Gardner has the thankless role of a "woman of ill repute, etc. with a heart of gold. But Ms. Gardner does a fine job of it. The real stars of the film are the craftspeople who built the lavish sets and staged the great action scenes. Forget the script, it's horrible. Bronston could stage huge productions due to the low overhead in Spain. His films are impressive for their attention to detail, no CGI in those days. They had to build everything. Not anywhere near the class of El Cid but on the whole a good way to see why many say "They don't make them like that anymore".

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