March 23, 2023

S3-E6 - Gladys Aylward, Ingrid Bergman, and the Inn of the Eight Happinesses (八福客栈)

S3-E6 - Gladys Aylward, Ingrid Bergman, and the Inn of the Eight Happinesses (八福客栈)

Eight happinesses? If you’ve heard of or seen the famous movie about the remarkable British missionary Gladys Aylward, you'll know that the film (which was originally set to be shot in Taiwan) was called “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.” Well, like many parts of her story, things were changed for the big-screen adaptation with Swedish megastar Ingrid Bergman. And Aylward – who founded an orphanage in Taipei in the late 1950s, and died in Taiwan in 1970 – didn't like the movie version one bit. Here's an incredible story about an incredible woman.

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"Oh God, here's my Bible, here's my money. Here's me. Use me, God." -Gladys Aylward

Cover images: Gladys Aylward with children at the Inn of Eight Happinesses (date unknown, picturevia Right: A poster for the hit 1958 film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.

Missionary Gladys Aylward did not like the movie for several reasons, including an invented romance between her character and an Eurasian Nationalist captain, played in the film by German actor Curt Jurgens. 

Click HERE to read the Stars and Stripes article mentioned in this episode. 

Click HERE to hearGladys Aylward speaking in person, circa 1950s.

Below: Pictures of Gladys Aylward, dates unknown.(Image via

Below: Some of the children Aylward helped escape from invading Japanese forces. (Picture via MyHero)

Below: "The Small Woman" by Alan Burgess. His book led to the movie and he later co-wrote an autobiography of Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982), the star of the film. 

Below: Scenes from the 20th Century Fox (and the making of it) film, "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness," (1958) which was filmed in Snowdonia, Wales, after the ROC government on Taiwan refused permission to shoot here as they felt the script depicted China under the KMT as "backward."