6.7/10
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Bethune: The Making of a Hero (1990)

Canadian surgeon Norman Bethune journeys 1500 miles into China to reach Mao Zedong's eighth route army in the Wu Tai mountains where he will build hospitals, provide care, and train medics.... See full summary »

Director:

Phillip Borsos

Writers:

Ted Allan, Ted Allan (novel)
Reviews
1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Based on the true story of Canadian doctor Norman Bethune, this film traces his life from his beginnings with his deeply religious family in Ontario, through his medical studies in school, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Dr. Norman Bethune
Helen Mirren ... Frances Penny Bethune
Helen Shaver ... Mrs. Dowd
Colm Feore ... Chester Rice
James Pax ... Mr. Tung
Da Guo Da Guo ... Dr. Chian (as Guo Da)
Harrison Liu Harrison Liu ... Dr. Fong
Anouk Aimée ... Marie-France Coudaire
Ronald Pickup ... Alan Coleman
Geoffrey Chater ... Dr. Archibald
Zong-yao Tan Zong-yao Tan ... General Nieh (as Tan Zong Yao)
Ke-Yaw Zhang Ke-Yaw Zhang ... Chairman Mao (as Zhang Ke Yaw)
Iñaki Aierra ... Dr. Salvador (as Inaki Ayerra)
Li Hai Lang Li Hai Lang ... Shiao
Yvan Ponton ... Frank Coudaire
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Storyline

Canadian surgeon Norman Bethune journeys 1500 miles into China to reach Mao Zedong's eighth route army in the Wu Tai mountains where he will build hospitals, provide care, and train medics. Flashbacks narrate the earlier events of his life: a bout with tuberculosis at the Trudeau sanatorium; the self-administration of an experimental pneumothorax; the invention of operative instruments; his fascination with socialism; a journey into medical Russia; and the founding of a mobile plasma transfusion unit in war-torn Spain. Bethune twice married and twice divorced his wife, Frances who chooses abortion over child-rearing in her unstable marriage. By 1939, Bethune had been dismissed from his Montreal Hospital for taking unconventional risks and from his volunteer position in Spain for his chronic problems of drinking and womanizing. As his friend states: "China was all that was left." Even there, Bethune confidently ignores the advice of Chinese officials, until heavy casualties make him ... Written by Duffin, Jacalyn

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Canada | China | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 1990 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Dr. Bethune See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Filmline International See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald Sutherland had previously portrayed Dr. Bethune in a 1977 Canadian TV Movie titled Bethune. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Extremely foolish to pass it as a political propaganda
28 November 2003 | by zzmaleSee all my reviews

It is extremely easy to pass it as a political propaganda at first glance. However, it would extremely foolish to do so. What happened to Mao and his party was exactly like what ancient Romans had said: Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

However, what happened to Mao and his party after the revolution cannot be used to mitigate what Chinese people accomplished under his leadership before the revolution. Denying past accomplishment of Mao and his party, as well as Chinese people and those great internationalists who helped China to fight Japanese fascists invaders would be as foolish as, and as racist as denying the existence of in USA simply because blacks in USA enjoy better living standards than blacks in Africa & Latin America.


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