From IMDb: 4 Plot Summaries
All her life Englishwoman Gladys Aylward knew that China was the place where she belonged. Not qualified to be sent there as a missionary, Gladys works as a domestic to earn the money to send herself to a poor, remote village. There she eventually lives a full and happy life: running the inn, acting as “foot inspector”, advising the local Mandarin and even winning the heart of mixed race Captain Lin Nan. But Gladys discovers her real destiny when the country is invaded by Japan and the Chinese children need her to save their lives. Based on a true story.
– Written by A.L.Beneteau <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the 30’s, the working-class Englishwoman Gladys Aylward leaves Liverpool and arrives in London, trying to join the China Missionary Society expecting to be sent to China. However, having only ordinary schooling, her request is turned down due to her lack of qualification to the position. Gladys works hard as a maid and uses all her savings and salaries to buy a train ticket to Tientsin. Then she travels by mule to the remote province of Wangcheng, where she works with the Englishwoman Jeannie Lawson and the Chinese cook Yang in the Inn of the Sixth Happiness. When Ms. Lawson has an accident and dies, Gladys has no money to run the establishment and accepts the position of “foot inspector” offered by the Mandarin Hsien Chang. She is assigned to visit the countryside to promote and enforce the government’s law against foot binding Chinese girls. She is successful, changes her nationality to Chinese and her name to Jen-ai (meaning “the one who loves people”), surprising the skeptical bi-racial Captain Lin Nan. When Wangcheng is invaded by the Japanese, Jen-ai travels through the mountains with one hundred children to save them from death.
– Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
It’s pre-WWII Britain. Gladys Aylward, who has worked as a domestic for the better part of her adult life, knows that she belongs in China, despite not knowing the language or anything of life there. She wants to work as a missionary, but is denied because of her inexperience. She even plans to save enough money on her own to go there. Instead, her current employer, Sir Francis Jamison, connects her with a friend of his, the elderly Mrs. Jeannie Lawson, a missionary in China who could use some help. When Gladys arrives in the remote northern Chinese town of Yang Cheng where Mrs. Lawson is currently residing, Mrs. Lawson tells her of her plan: to open an inn, which she ultimately calls the Inn of the Sixth Happiness, which will provide refuge for those traveling by mule train. In this way, they can spread the word of the Lord more effectively. Soon after they open the inn, Mrs. Lawson dies in an accident. With no money, no support to remain in China and still not enough language skills to make it on her own, Gladys has to find a way to stay. That help comes in the form of the mandarin of Yang Cheng, who employs her initially as the foot inspector, the job which entails monitoring the new government rule that young women and female children are not to have their feet bound (the mandarin failing to tell her the dangers of the job in bucking Chinese historical practice). In her travels, Gladys becomes renowned in the area as a humanitarian and is given the name “the one who loves”. Despite potential harm to herself and fear for her personal safety, Gladys often places herself in situations where she feels she can provide some good, such as in negotiating with incarcerated men who have started a prison riot, and with marauding bandits. Through it all, she begins a friendship and ultimate romance with Colonel Lin Nan, a half Chinese/half Caucasian Chinese military officer who chose to live in China since he knew he would always be considered second class in the western world. Their friendship and romance is despite their differences, especially his military role versus her pacifist attitude. Those differences are tested with his message to the people of the probable Japanese invasion and what ultimately would become the Sino-Japanese War, when her mission turns to save the masses of orphaned children.
– Written by Huggo
Based on the true life exploits of Gladys Aylward who set off to China to work as a missionary and teacher. She meets some resistance at the China Missionary Society and finds herself working as a maid for Sir Francis Jamison in order to raise the money to pay for her own passage. She’s making use of Sir Francis’ library of books on China and he decides to help her by giving her a reference and an introduction to Jeannie Lawson, a missionary and one of his former colleagues. She sets off overland by train across Europe and the Soviet Union and then by mule overland to Lawson’s mission which the old woman is hoping to turn into an inn. She slowly adapts to life at the Mission but when Lawson dies as the result of a fall, Gladys finds herself in charge. Over time, she gains the confidence not only of the local Mandarin but also the common people and eventually becomes a Chinese citizen. When the Japanese invade China, she sets off to escort a hundred orphaned children to safety.
– Written by garykmcd