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China Seas

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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China Seas
China Seas Poster.jpg
Theatrical Release Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg USA
Directed by Tay Garnett
Release Date 1935
Studio MGM
Distributor MGM
Main Cast
Character Actor
Captain Alan Gaskell Clark Gable
Dolly "China Doll" Portland Jean Harlow
Sybil Barclay Rosalind Russell
Jamesy McArdle Wallace Beery
Third Officer Tom Davids Lewis Stone
First Officer Dawson Dudley Digges
Sir Guy Wilmerding C. Aubrey Smith
Charlie McCaleb Robert Benchley

China Seas is a 1935 B&W adventure movie directed by Tay Garnett and starring Clark Gable as Alan Gaskell, the captain of a steamer Kin Lung that sails from Hong Kong to Singapore. The ship transports a large sum in gold bullion, and this cargo becomes the target of Malay pirates with whom one of the passengers is in league. Meanwhile, Captain Gaskell is suffering from personal problems, as there are now two women on his ship with whom he had an affair: actress Dolly "China Doll" Portland (Jean Harlow) and aristocratic Sybil Barclay (Rosalind Russell).

The following weapons were used in the film China Seas:


Smith & Wesson Military & Police

A Smith & Wesson Military & Police is Captain Alan Gaskell's (Clark Gable) handgun. An M&P revolver is also seen in the hands of a passenger.

Smith & Wesson Model M&P Revolver with 4" barrel - .38 Special
Captain Gaskell grabs his revolver when he hears someone covertly entering his cabin.
When the pirates board the Kin Lung, one of the passengers runs on the deck with a revolver in hand but is gunned down.

Mauser C96

The Malay pirates' leader Ngah (Ivan Lebedeff) and several of his men carry Mauser C96 pistols.

Mauser C96 "Pre-War Commercial" - 7.63x25mm Mauser
Ngah carries his Mauser tucked into his belt.
A pirate carries a Mauser C96 in its wooden stock/holster.
Ngah's lieutenant carries a holstered C96 and large dadao sword.
Ngah (Ivan Lebedeff) holds his Mauser C96 in a promotional image. The character doesn't draw the pistol in the movie.

Colt M1911

Two of the pirates who try to sneak onto the steamer in female disguise carry M1911 pistols.

Original Colt M1911 (dated 1913) - .45 ACP
A pirate disguised as a woman carries an M1911 in a shoulder holster.
A good view of the holstered pistol belonging to another pirate.

Unidentified revolvers

Third Officer Tom Davids (Lewis Stone) fires at pirates. His revolver is seen too briefly for a positive identification.
A Sikh NCO in Singapore carries a holster typical for Webley .455 revolvers.

Submachine Guns

Thompson M1921

In the climactic scene, Captain Gaskell's cabin boy Ah Sing (Willie Fung) fires a Thompson M1921 at pirates (where the SMG came from is a mystery, as the pirates thoroughly searched the ship and looted every item worth stealing).

Colt M1921A Thompson with 50-round drum magazine - .45 ACP
Ah Sing aims at the retreating pirates.
China Seas-Thompson-2.jpg
He fires, barely able to hold the heavy Thompson.


Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk.III

British Sikh soldiers in Hong Kong are armed with Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk.III rifles. Many pirates are also armed with No.1 Mk.III rifles, some of which are stolen from the ship's armory. Most rifles are original Mk IIIs.

SMLE Mk.III* / Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk.III* with Pattern 1907 Bayonet - .303 British.
Sikh soldiers hold rifles with bayonets.
Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk III - .303 British
Pirates take rifles from the ship's armory. Most rifles are Lee-Enfields, except for two rifles at the far right that seem to be Krag-Jorgensens.
Pirates aim their rifles at Captain Gaskell.
The same scene on a lobby card.
Captain Gaskell and Second Officer Kingston (Pat Flaherty) under the guns of the pirates.
A pirate at the right holds a Lee-Enfield.
A good view of a Lee-Enfield in the hands of a pirate in center. Judging by the sights, this is an original Mk III.
A pirate at the right holds a Lee-Enfield.
Judging by the sights, this is also an original Mk III.
Pirates fire at Davids.

Springfield M1903

Some of the Sikh soldiers in Hong Kong are armed with Springfield M1903 rifles.

Springfield M1903 Mk 1 - .30-06 Springfield
A Sikh soldier at the right holds an M1903 Springfield with bayonet. Strangely, he has two bayonets, one attached to the rifle and another sheathed on his belt.
The buttstock of the rifle is seen.

Krag-Jorgensen M1896 and M1898

Many pirates are armed with full-length Krag-Jorgensen rifles. As far as it can be said, a mix of M1896 (mostly) and M1898 rifles are present.

US Model 1896 Krag-Jorgensen Rifle - .30-40 Krag
US Model 1898 Krag-Jorgensen Rifle - .30-40 Krag
A pirate aims a Krag-Jorgensen rifle at the ship's engineer. This rifle seems to be an M1898.
Pirates, mostly with Krag-Jorgensen rifles, encircle wounded Davids.
A Krag-Jorgensen in the hands of a pirate.
A pirate at the background left holds a Krag-Jorgensen.
China Seas-KragJorgensen-5.jpg
Several Krag-Jorgensen rifles are seen when the pirates return to the junk.
Sikh soldiers in Singapore are armed with Krag-Jorgensen rifles with attached bayonets.


Double Barreled Shotgun

A pair of Double Barreled Shotguns are used for skeet shooting on the steamer. The guns are seen in the hands of Sybil Barclay (Rosalind Russell), Yu-Lan (Soo Yong), Dolly Portland (Jean Harlow), and Jamesy McArdle (Wallace Beery).

L.C. Smith case hardened hammerless side by side Field shotgun - 12 gauge
Yu-Lan hands her shotgun to an attendant. McArdle holds another shotgun in the background.
McArdle examines the shotgun.
Sybil Barclay holds a shotgun.
She fires with perfect marksmanship (markswomanship?).
An attendant hands a shotgun to Dolly Portland. Another shotgun is seen in the hands of Sybil Barclay (at the far right).
Dolly fires but without any luck.
Dolly angrily turns to Yu-Lan and Sybil, neglecting all rules of weapon safety.

Other Weapons

F1 Hand Grenade

In the climactic scene, Third Officer Tom Davids (Lewis Stone) uses a satchel with hand grenades to damage the pirates' junk. Captain Gaskell calls the grenades Mills Bombs, but in reality, these are French F1 hand grenades with Billant fuze.

F1 High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade with Mle1916 Billant fuse.
Tom Davids, wounded and with broken legs, crawls across the deck with a grenade in hand.
Another view of the grenade.
Davids hands a grenade to Captain Gaskell, who is locked in a storeroom.
Gaskell uses the grenade to break the lattice door.
China Seas-Grenade-6.jpg
Davids sacrifices himself to blow up the pirates' ship.

Hotchkiss 1-pounder Gun

A 1-pounder (37 mm) Hotchkiss gun is mounted on Kin Lung. Captain Alan Gaskell (Clark Gable) uses it to sink the pirates' junk after it is damaged by Davids' grenades.

Second Officer Kingston (Pat Flaherty) examines the Hotchkiss gun before the ship departs.
China Seas-Hotchkiss-2.jpg
Gaskell fires the Hotchkiss gun.
Gaskell watches the burning and drowning junk.

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