The gothic is a quintessentially European aesthetic. Moreover, it pertains and appeals more specifically to those of North-West European descent and is to be found in various modes and tropes throughout North-West European culture and contrasts with the Classicism of Southern Europe.
It’s true that Gothic culture was most strongly focused in NW Europe, and in the popular mind is associated with Northern France and Germany. But there is this and also this and also this.
In 55 Days, one of the Marines, Captain Andy Marshall (Jerome Thor), has a mixed-race daughter, Teresa (Lynne Sue Moon) who he has left at a French Catholic orphanage. Teresa becomes a complication for Captain Marshall and Major Lewis as the story plays out. Even though she is rescued by Major Lewis in a dashing way with epic music playing in the background in the final scene we know she is not going to really be at home in Illinois after being raised in a Chinese orphanage. In my personal life, I know a great many people whose father was a career military man and whose mother is from the Far East, usually Korea. It seems to me that about half the kids of those combinations fail to launch, there is drug abuse, poor personal and career decisions, and other issues. Recently, several spree killers, such as Elliot Rodger, came from such a background.
Moviegoers also learn that Baroness Natalie Ivanoff (Ava Gardner) has had an affair with a Chinese General, causing her husband to commit suicide. She is now alone in the world with a valuable necklace her only wealth. She is haughty to her in-laws angry at her infidelities, but one can see her haughtiness is empty bravado. The Baroness is in dire financial straits and irredeemable social trouble. By the end of the movie she has pawned her necklace. The Baroness’ problems are solved by her death in the siege.
In The Sand Pebbles, the problem of personal, intimate involvement with Third World People is fleshed out more deeply. The deep personal involvement has three different layers. The first is institutional. On the USS San Pablo, the Captain, Lieutenant Collins (Richard Crenna) organized a group of Chinese as coolie labor on the riverboat. The Chinese coolies turn part of the ship into their living quarters and a no-go area for whites. The coolies cook the meals, launder the clothes, clean and paint the ship, and service the engine. The Americans do little but drill in their perfectly laundered clothes, argue over trifles, and drink. This institutional organization brings about serious problems as the plot of The Sand Pebbles thickens.
It is in the bars where the problems start to crop up and the second layer of problems arises: intimate sexual involvement. When being shown around the ship, Frenchie (Richard Attenborough), tells Jake Holman (Steve McQueen) that the Pharmacist Mate is the critical person to know, as many of the men are getting venereal diseases from visiting the Chinese prostitutes. Normally, sailors visiting Far Eastern prostitutes is not a big deal. In fact, such a thing is often a rite of passage for many young men in the military. However, Frenchie takes the situation further when he becomes involved with a Chinese woman named Maily (Marayat Andriane) who works at the bar the sailors like to patronize. The woman is at the bar because she is burdened with debts that she manipulates Frenchie into paying.
Far Eastern morality is also clearly shown. As soon as Frenchie has the money to pay Maily’s debts, her Chinese creditor seeks more money by auctioning off Maily’s virginity. Additionally, the Chinese Republicans simply lie about who killed who, declaring Holman a murderer although the Republicans themselves were responsible for most of the killing.