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Set in the 1930's in war-torn China and inspired by true events. George Hogg is a young Englishman who leads sixty orphaned boys on an extraordinary journey of almost a thousand miles across the snow-bound Liu Pan Shan mountains to safety on the edge of the Mongolian desert. During his journey, George learns to rely on the support of Chen, the leader of a Chinese partisan group who becomes his closest friend. He soon finds himself falling in love with the Australian adventurer Lee, an unsentimental nurse. Along the way, Hogg befriends Madame Wang, an aristocratic survivor who has also been displaced by war. She helps the young Englishman, his friends and their sixty war orphans make their way to safety near the western end of the Great Wall of China.