Bitter Tea of General Yen 1932 Drama


In Bitter Tea, The American missionary Megan Davis arrives in Shanghai during the Chinese Civil War to marry the missionary Dr. Robert Strife.


Bitter Tea of General Yen 1932 Barbara Stanwyck Drama

Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther, Toshia Mori

Bitter Tea of General Yen Story Line. The American missionary Megan Davis arrives in Shanghai during the Chinese Civil War to marry the missionary Dr. Robert Strife. However, Robert postpones their wedding to rescue some orphans in an orphanage in Chapei section that is burning in the middle of a battlefield. While returning to Shanghai with the children, they are separated in the crowd, Megan is hit in the head and knocked out, but is saved by General Yen and brought by train to his palace.

With The Bitter Tea of General Yen, director Frank Capra created a small cinematic gem. Not only does the film boast of superb production values, a first rate script and great performances, it wraps its audience in a romance which rewards intelligent viewing while offering a dash of pre-code sensibilities.

Did you know?

Bitter Tea of General Yen is based on Grace Zaring Stone’s 1930 novel of the same name. Stone wrote the book while living in China while her husband, Captain Ellis Stone, commanded the USS Isabel as it patrols the Yangtze River. The novel is not about a romance between Megan and General Yen but rather concerns a philosophical contest between Megan’s Judeo-Christian worldview and Yen’s educated, unsentimental  philosophy. The novel’s Megan claims she wants to understand Yen. But when Megan pleads for Yen to spare Mah-Li and save his soul, Yen accuses Megan of wanting to change (not understand) him.

Screenwriter Edward Paramore jettisoned the philosophical nature of the hit novel and replaced it with a tale about a sheltered white woman who succumbs to the wild nature of an Asian.

Product Information

  • Director: Frank Capra
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Production Co.: Columbia Pictures
  • Run time: 88 minutes
  • Sound: Mono
  • Color: Black and White

Sample Video from Bitter Tea of General Yen


This movie arrives on a professional grade DVD-R disc placed in a slim jewel case. The cover art is exactly as shown in the image.

You may also enjoy The Violent Men – to quote the tagline, “Violence and Passion the Screen Has Seldom Seen!”  Or how about Message to Garcia (1936), another young Stanwyck film?

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Additional information

Weight 3 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 0.5 in







Black and White

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