Dragon Seed (film)


Dragon Seed is a 1944 American war drama film, about Japan's WWII-era actions in China.The movie directed by Jack Conway and Harold S. Bucquet, based on the 1942 novel of the same name by Pearl S. Buck. The film stars Katharine Hepburn, Walter Huston, Aline MacMahon, Akim Tamiroff, and Turhan Bey. It portrays a peaceful village in China that has been invaded by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The men in the village choose to adopt a peaceful attitude toward their conquerors, but the headstrong Jade (Hepburn) stands up to the Japanese.

Dragon Seed
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Screenplay by
Based onDragon Seed
by Pearl S. Buck
Produced byPandro S. Berman
CinematographySidney Wagner
Edited byHarold F. Kress
Music byHerbert Stothart
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Loew's Inc.
Release date
  • July 20, 1944 (1944-07-20)
Running time
147 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$3 million[1]
Box office$4.6 million[1]

Aline MacMahon was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.


A peaceful Chinese village is invaded by the Japanese prior to World War II. The men elect to adopt a peaceful attitude towards their conquerors, and the women are understood to stoically acquiesce as well, but Jade, a headstrong young woman, intends to stand up to the Japanese, whether her husband Lao Er approves or not. She even goes so far as to learn to read and to handle a weapon, so that she may be properly equipped for both psychological and physical combat. Jade's attitude spreads to the rest of the village, convincing even the staunchest of male traditionalists that the Japanese can be defeated only by offering a strong united front, male and female.[2]



Reportedly, Judy Garland wanted the role of Jade.

Box officeEdit

According to MGM records, the film earned $3,033,000 in the U.S. and Canada and $1,594,000 elsewhere, but because of its high cost, incurred a loss to the studio of $281,000.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ "Dragon Seed (1944) - Harold S. Bucquet, Jack Conway - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.

External linksEdit