66 user 12 critic

High Road to China (1983)

During WW1, an alcoholic American biplane pilot is hired by the spoiled daughter of an industrialist to find her father who disappeared in Asia.


Brian G. Hutton


Jon Cleary (novel), Sandra Weintraub (screenplay) (as Sandra Weintraub Roland) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Selleck ... Patrick O' Malley
Bess Armstrong ... Eve
Jack Weston ... Struts
Wilford Brimley ... Bradley Tozer
Robert Morley ... Bentik
Brian Blessed ... Suleman Khan
Cassandra Gava ... Alessa
Michael Sheard ... Charlie
Lynda La Plante ... Lina (as Lynda Marchal)
Timothy Carlton ... Officer
Shayur Mehta Shayur Mehta ... Ahmed
Terry Richards ... Ginger
Jeremy Child ... Silversmith
Peter Llewellyn Williams Peter Llewellyn Williams ... Franjten Khan
Dino Shafeek ... Satvinda (as Dino Shaffer)


A biplane pilot is saddled with a spoiled industrialist's daughter on a search for her missing father through Asia that eventually involves them in a struggle against a Chinese warlord. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Take the high road to adventure! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This movie has been considered to have been part of a cycle of movies initiated by the box-office success of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Interestingly, Tom Selleck auditioned for the part of Indiana Jones and one can see Selleck's screen test on the DVD for that movie. Selleck was locked into a tight shooting schedule for Magnum, P.I. (1980) which is why Selleck was was unable to star in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). As that movie was a blockbuster hit, High Road to China (1983) is considered to have been offered to Selleck for compensatory reasons and also because Selleck had been the original choice to play the Indiana Jones character. See more »


The wreck of first the deHavilland burned and the engine fell from its mounts. Both deHavillands were shown flying in the film and were powered with the V-8 Curtiss OX-5 powerplant. The engine seen in the burned airplane was an inverted inline 6 cylinder, most likely a Liberty 12A six cylinder. See more »


Zura: The oxen are slow, but the earth is patient.
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Referenced in Flight (2012) See more »


Souls Approaching
Arranged by Albert Woodbury
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User Reviews

A perfect adventure movie!
17 October 2003 | by pug-13See all my reviews

This is one of the best adventure films I've ever seen. Tom Selleck and Bess Armstrong are great and Jack Weston as Struts is hillarious.

It has some great scenes of the planes flying across country. And John Barry's music is excellent.

The story is simple: Rich woman (Armstrong) hires drunken pilot (Selleck) to fly her to China to find her missing father.

Meanwhile, people are trying to have her killed, and each stop they make along the way allows for a sideline adventure.

All in all, one of my favourite films, and a rare treat of a movie. They don't them like this any more. I wish it were available on DVD!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | Yugoslavia | Hong Kong


English | German

Release Date:

18 March 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cesta do Cíny See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,156,049, 20 March 1983

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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