This film is an adaptation of two stories by Guy de Maupassant, Tallow Ball and Mademoiselle Fifi. The trip by stagecoach to a frightened group of inhabitants of Rouen. The girl said Rousset, "suet ball" makes them a signal service, she encounters their stupidity and their sufficiency. Later, "suet ball" kills the dreaded Prussian lieutenant that his friends had nicknamed Fifi and shamelessly spread his love of plunder and his sadistic inclinations. It is a very patriotic film, directed to the liberation of France and is far from being detached from the context.
Le ciel était fini, la terre était finie, les animaux étaient finis, l'homme était fini. Dieu pensa qu'il était fini aussi, et sombra dans une profonde mélancolie. Il ne savait à quoi se mettre. Il fit un peu de poterie, pétrit une boule de terre, mais le coeur n'y était plus. Il n'avait plus confiance en lui, il avait perdu la foi. Dieu ne croyait plus en Dieu. Il lui fallait d'urgence de l'activité, de nouveaux projets, des gros chantiers. Il décida alors de chercher du travail, et, comme tout un chacun, il rédigea son curriculum vitae…
Oyuki, the Virgin is based on Kawaguchi Matsutaro’s adaptation of Maupassant’s “Boule de Suif” (“Lump of Fat,” also the inspiration for Ford’s Stagecoach). To this story Mizoguchi added some of his own elements. Maupassant’s original work, set during the Franco-Prussian War, is the story of a group of people who try to flee the battleground in a horsedrawn carriage. The bourgeois use the expression “lump of fat” to refer sarcastically to the prostitute who is riding along with them. When they are caught by the enemy, they offer to send her to the commander as a human sacrifice. This done, when they leave the battlefield the next day, all they do is censure her and call her vulgar.
"It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily," purrs Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express. She certainly has her well-manicured hands full with more men than she can count in this exotic far-Eastern adventure. Among her fellow passengers on the Shanghai Express are her disillusioned former fiance, stalwart British medical corps officer Clive Brook; overfervent missionary Lawrence Grant; dope smuggler Gustav von Seyffertitz; and mysterious Eurasian businessman Warner Oland. As the train chugs through the more treacherous passages of war-torn China, Oland reveals himself as the leader of a rebel group, who plans to hold the passengers hostage to secure the release of his imprisoned followers. In Boule de Suif fashion, Dietrich, who is a notorious "Chinese coaster" but who has remained sexually aloof throughout the trip, gives herself to Oland to save the life of Brook, the man she truly loves.