Classic Review – Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

Love is a Man-Splendored Thing    (B)

So recently I rewatched this film because due to visa reasons I am back in the USA and not in France with my girlfriend.  This is one of her all-time favorite movies.  I am a romantic sap, so I rewatched this the other night because it really is a fantastic look at Hong Kong and Asian relations back after WWII.

This movie tells the story based on similar events of the author of the book.  It focuses on Dr. Han Suyin (Jennifer Jones), a female Eurasian (that is someone who is mixed European/Asian birth) working in Hong Kong.  She is from China but due to the growing communist movement and her time abroad studying medicine she has come to live and work in the free land of Hong Kong.  She is widowed from a husband that was murdered by the communist government and someone who is always talking to her European and Asian side when it comes to making certain decisions.  None of which come harder than the new man in her life, Mark Elliot (William Holden).  Mark is an American reporter, who is separated from his wife who won’t let them divorce.  At a dinner, he meets Suyin and is instantly smitten.   Mark is not one to let something get away from him so he makes his advances, politely but with a bit of authority because Suyin is very closed and wishes to never be broken by love ever again.

As the movie plays on, Mark and Suyin indeed become close.  Culture frowns upon their situation.  Mark even is lead to believe a divorce will be granted until at the last second his wife cruelly denies him.  After a weekend away, Suyin is fired from the hospital because she was not around, though on vacation, when they hospital could have needed her.  The board has effectively run her out of a job.  Mark in the meantime has been called away to Korea as the war is just about to start. They write letters to one another.  Everything seems to be going ok.   Suyin has now allowed herself to love again and knows that life holds many possibilities.

This movie shows us a strong female lead.  The character has endured heartbreak and new love, not just with a man but also in the adoption of a refugee child.  If you have a girlfriend or boyfriend and want to be close on the couch one evening, watch this…currently on Netflix.