Synopsis by Paul Brenner
Madonna and Sean Penn, who were husband and wife at the time, starred in this notorious box-office bomb that one critic termed "Flop Suey." The film takes place in 1937, during the Japanese occupation of China. Drug runner Walter Faraday (Paul Freeman) is trying to leave the country with a large stash of opium but he is chased by armed guards and killed. A year passes and missionary Gloria Tatlock (Madonna) hires sleazy American con man Glendon Wasey (Sean Penn) to help her find the missing opium. She wants to use the drugs to relieve the suffering of wounded Chinese soldiers -- as she puts it, "Guns cause pain. Opium eases pain." Glendon reluctantly agrees. But unfortunately for the two do-gooders, there are other, more notorious seekers of the opium shipment as well. George Harrison, one of the film's producers, wrote the songs and appears in a cameo role as a nightclub singer.
bad-guy, con/scam, drugs, good-guy, mercenary, missionary, smuggling