Cinema: New Picture, Jul. 31, 1944

Dragon Seed (M.G.M.) is a kind of slant-eyed North Star (TIME, Nov. 8). A two-and-a-half-hour picturization of Pearl Buck's best-selling novel (TIME, Jan. 26, 1942) about China at war. Often awkward and pretentious, it nevertheless has moments of moral and dramatic grandeur.

China is typified in a resolute old farmer named Ling Tan (Walter Huston). When war comes to Ling Tan's village, he does not choose to run. He meets the Japanese peaceably and with dignity—only to learn that dignity is no longer a human value. His son-in-law's fat old mother, his...