55 Days at Peking

Screening on Film
Directed by Nicholas Ray.
With Charlton Heston, David Niven, Ava Gardner.
US, 1963, 35mm, color, 154 min.
Print source: HFA

An action epic, Ray’s last commercial film bands together a disparate group of foreigners attempting to survive the Boxer rebellion in China. Ray, who was hospitalized during the shoot (filming was completed by second-unit director Andrew Marton), employs his signature use of color and sophisticated understanding of widescreen composition to create a visually arresting film, with dynamic action sequences balanced by subtle and sensitive character development, particularly Charlton Heston’s emotionally reserved Marine. Ray makes a rare cameo in the film as an American minister.

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Nicholas Ray. Hollywood's Last Romantic

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