China Gate

Director: Samuel Fuller
Year Released: 1957
Rating: 2.0

In French Indochina, single mother "Lucky Legs" (Angie Dickinson) - who is half Asian, half European - is asked by the French Foreign Legion to help sneak mercenaries (including Gene Barry and Nat King Cole) behind enemy lines to destroy the Commies' stash of bombs and ammunition - in return for her service, they promise to send her son to the United States for a proper education.  Granted anyone could look past the plucky Dickinson playing someone with even a droplet of Asian DNA - and it's not easy at all - you then have to deal with the stiff pacing: after walking for a little bit there are drawn-out scenes of tough guy chatter or philosophizing that bring the movie to a halt.  I do like Fuller's progressiveness - nowadays no one would blink about having a half-Asian child, but back then it wouldn't have gone over so well - not to mention the ingenious casting of the magnetic Mr. Cole, who is just as believable as a soldier as he is a singer.