Movies and books as travel preparation

When we prepare for upcoming trips, partly for "research" and mostly to establish a connection with the area we'll be visiting, we look to movies and novels set in the locale. Sometimes music if it jumps out. So, here are some ideas we have for the China, the Yangtze River & Hong Kong trip (note, not listing documentaries or travel guides since those are another subject, entirely).

Since this forum allows edits to messages apparently forever, I'll keep this up-to-date with suggestions from others with their post #.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) - Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh in a very atmospheric Chinese epic with amazing fight sequences
The Last Emperor (1987) - John Lone and Peter O'Toole in the beautifully filmed story of the last emperor of China. Best Picture in 1988.
The Good Earth (1936) - Paul Muni in adaptation of the Pearl Buck novel (below). We haven't watched this yet, but it's well reviewed (Best Picture and Director nominee).
55 Days at Peking (1963) - Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner and the Boxer Rebellion
The Road to Hong Kong (1962) - Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in one of their "Road" movies...strictly for fun
Sand Pebbles - recommended by ndvb (#2)
[The Great Wall,
Raise the Red Lantern]
- both recommended by Shescha (#4)

The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck
The Sand Pebbles by Richard McKenna - recommended by ndvb (#2)
[Red Azalea,
Little Red Guard,
Shanghai Diary,
Mao- the Unknown Story,
A death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel,
Corpse Walkers and Other Stories,
Rape of Nanking,
The Last Empress - Madame Chiang Kai-Shek,
Wild Swans,
Spider Eaters- a Memoir,
Empress Dowager Cixi,
Heaven Cracks Earth Shakes - The Tangshan Earthquake and the Death of Mao's China,
The Fortunate Sons,
Life & Death in Shanghai]
- all recommended by Rena (#3)
[Wealth and Power (Schell and Delury),
River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze (P. Hessler),
Stillwell and the American Experience in China] (B. Tuchman) - all recommended by Anne T. T. (#5)


Please suggest additions.


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    edited May 2014
    Sand Pebbles. Movie with Steve McQueen and Candice Bergman about a gun ship in the South China Sea at the turn of the last century. Book by Richard McKenna.
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    Among the many book that I read in the past year in preparation for the Best of China trip were

    Red Azalea
    Little Red Guard
    Shanghai Diary
    Mao- the Unknown Story
    A death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel
    Corpse Walkers and Other Stories
    Rape of Nanking
    The Last Empress - Madame Chaing Kai-Shek
    Wild Swans
    Spider Eaters- a Memoir
    Empress Dowager Cixi
    Heaven Cracks Earth Shakes - The Tangshan Earthquake and the Death of Mao's China
    The Fortunate Sons
    Life & Death in Shanghai

    This is only a partial list, but my local library was invaluable in having a large number of books about China.
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    movies: The Great Wall, Raise the Red Lantern

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    edited May 2014
    Three other books to add to the great list:

    Wealth and Power (Schell and Delury)
    River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze (P. Hessler)
    Stillwell and the American Experience in China (B. Tuchman)

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