The Good Earth (1937)
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It's not that they liked to make Chinese movies with Americans pretending they were Chinese, that's just how it was back then. It's yellowface, similar to blackface.
It has dated very badly. If they made a film today with whites playing Chinese people, it would be laughed or scorned out of town. In fairness, however, it's very doubtful if the movie could have been made with "real" Asians.
I don't understand why some people like to make movies with American actors in Arizona pretending they are Chinese in China.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #11 in Academy Award - Best Cinematography
This movie ranks #77 in Academy Award - Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #185 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #338 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #965 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown