Akim Tamiroff received his first Oscar nomination for portraying General Yang in The General Died at Dawn.
The General Died at Dawn is a strangely dull film despite having unique editing and a complicated story, although I will admit the version I watched really needed restored sound.
Akim Tamiroff portrays an evil Chinese warlord called General Yang. Now there were only a few ways non Asians generally played Asians. There was more offensive over the top way of say Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's or the stone faced way of Boris Karloff as Fu Manchu. Tamiroff plays Yang in the latter sort of way. He is always very stiff and very strict in his manner and his accent. The most he strives from this really is a sly smile now and again.
I will admit that its better that he did not go over the top, but at the same time he is a bit dull. He sticks too closely to his single way the whole time, and he never creates that interesting character in General Yang. He keeps in character though which is something, and he is never exactly bad, but never that good. His best scene is his last scene where he shows a little more emotion but still very little. He never creates more in his strict character than what is expected, causing his performance to be fine but never interesting.