A thrilling melodrama with pronounced propagandistic overtones, China Express (aka Blue Express) is set on a passenger train bound from Suchoow to Nanking. The polyglot of passengers include a group of hapless Chinese workers and picture brides who've been sold into servitude by an evil capitalistic merchant. As the train wends its way through the treacherous countryside, a pair of drunken English soldiers decide to claim one of the Chinese girls for their own. Her brother, previously resigned to a life of "paid slavery", is galvanized into action when the girl is threatened with gang rape, and he kills one of her assailants before sneaking back into his cubicle. The dead man's companion goes on a rampage, shooting indiscriminately into every train car. At long last, the Chinese rise up against their oppressors, breaking into a munitions shipment and mounting a bloody counteroffensive. Its political ideologies aside, China Express has been cited by some historians as the main inspiration for Josef Von Sternberg's Shanghai Express -- and as a major influence on the Soviet Cinema of the 1930s in general. The film was directed by Ilya Trauberg, a former assistant of Sergei Eisenstein and the younger brother of "Maxim Trilogy" director Leonid Trauberg.
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