Based on the autobiographical novel by Han Suyin, Love is a Many Splendored Thing was evocatively location-filmed in Hong Kong. Jennifer Jones plays Ms. Suyin, a Eurasian doctor and the widow of a Chinese general. She falls in love with American news correspondent Mark Elliot (William Holden), who unfortunately cannot obtain a divorce from his present wife. This, together with the disapproval of Dr. Suyin's tradition-bound relatives and Hong Kong's strict racial laws, forces the couple to carry on their romance in a clandestine fashion. The romance ends in tragedy, but with renewed hope for a happier future. The one lasting legacy of Love is a Many Splendored Thing is its Oscar-winning title song, written by Paul Fain and Sammy Webster; Oscars also went to Alfred Newman's musical score and Charles LeMaire's costume design. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
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Let's face it, William Holden only did this flick because he loved on location shoots in Asia. Otherwise, this schmaltzy interracial romance is one of the most poorly written scripts in all of classic film. Jennifer Jones' dialogue is straight out of fortune cookies and William Holden has nothing to work with - his Mark Elliot character is just a robot. It's like everyone's sleepwalking. Even the little kids can't act their way out of a paper bag. This movie is criminally poor and it boggles my mind that so many people have such favorable views of it.