Eve Tozer (Bess Armstrong) finds that the company her father, Bradley Tozer (Wilford Brimley) built will transfer to his partner Bentik (Robert Morley) unless she can prove that her father is still alive. Faced with the loss of the fortune that has allowed this freewheeling flapper to maintain her lifestyle, Eve hires a biplane pilot to find her missing father. Patrick O'Malley (Tom Selleck) is agreeable to this arrangement at first, as he has his own reasons to leave Istanbul quickly. Strong-willed Eve insists that Patrick not only let her to join him in the search but fly his other biplane.
Sparks ignite as the twosome travel across different countries, making their way to China in this visually appealing adventure. Eve proves to be a good pilot and resourceful partner. Along the way, they must battle against her father's nefarious partner, Bentik. Determined to gain control of the company, Bentik remains hot on Eve's heels to stop her. Meanwhile, Patrick bristles at taking orders from what he considers a shallow, demanding, selfish heiress, but gradually his opinion transforms as he learns that she is much more than she seems.
When they finally locate Bradley, it proves as dangerous as the trip to track him down. Eve's father has turned his back on his old life style. In China, he finds new purpose in helping to defend a small Chinese village against the overwhelming force of a local warlord. Unable to get her father to return with her, she and Patrick join him in the battle. Using his engineering expertise to develop weapons for the villagers Bradley brings the fight to the warlord.
Set in the 1920s, The High Road to China is an excellent example of a romance adventure tale. It easily captures the attention of the viewer as it takes us from the search to the discovery. This Warner Brothers film directed by Brian G. Hutton is a solid story that the whole family will enjoy.