7 user 19 critic

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972)

Ai nu (original title)
The Four Seasons Brothel is run by a ruthless madam, Lady Chun Yi. Countless young girls have been kidnapped or bought and then sold into a life of servitude, prostitution, and torture at ... See full summary »


(as Chu Yuan)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lily Ho ...
Ai Nu
Hua Yueh ...
Chi Te
Betty Pei Ti ...
Chun Yi
Lin Tung ...
Pao Hu
Chung Shan Wan ...
Yeh Shun-tzu
Mei Sheng Fan ...
Wu Hua-tien
Wen Chung Ku ...
Chao Wen-chien
Shen Chan ...
Li Chang-an
Mien Fang ...
Wei Chien-chung
Hao Chen ...
Liao Kuo-kuang
Hao Li ...
Chou Hai
Ching Ho Wang
Peng Peng
Ling Chiang
Kang Ho


The Four Seasons Brothel is run by a ruthless madam, Lady Chun Yi. Countless young girls have been kidnapped or bought and then sold into a life of servitude, prostitution, and torture at this brothel. Ai Nu, an honest, but poor family's only daughter, is one of the newest girls that was recently kidnapped and sold to Lady Chun. To complicate matters even more, Lady Chun is a lesbian and quickly falls in love with the virginal Ai Nu, who will not let her spirit be broken and tries to escape again and again. This causes Lady Chun to use all of her resources to break her, including auctioning off Ai Nu's virginity to a group of wealthy businessmen. She eventually entrusts Ai Nu with a number of ancient kung-fu secrets like the Ghost Hands, which allows you to thrust your fists into an opponent's chest. Soon after murder erupts within the brothel. A diligent detective, Chi Te, visits the brothel and becomes increasingly involved in the murder investigation. He realizes he must do ... Written by GRAYnonstop

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama


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Release Date:

9 July 1972 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Body and Sword  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(PAL DVD) | (1974)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Remade as Ai nu xin zhuan (1984) See more »


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User Reviews

Underrated classic of the chinese action adventure form
6 February 2003 | by (North East England) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie in an English Cinema, in Birmingham, in the mid- 1970's, and was quite bowled over by its startling originality, at least to my eyes as a western viewer. It is far better constructed than most of the Kung Fu type movies that have world popularity, and will appeal to a discerning audience. The intricate plot deals with the fate and adventures of two women, masters of their marshal arts, and sworn to vengeance. The significance of the relationship between the two women grows until it becomes central to the film. That alone was original enough in the 1970's - but amazingly it is still original now.

The film has a legendary, classical feel to it, and is absolutely not self-conscious about the role of its female leads. The plot twists and turns down to its tragic denouement, breathtaking in its melodrama and beauty. I don't know enough about this but it felt very rooted in chinese culture , and had the classical structure of a greek or shakespearian tragedy.

It is also beautifully filmed, and has many of those chinese fencing scenes the mass public has only really just become familiar with in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. But the latter is really not a patch on the earlier film.

There may be many more like this - I don't know - and although it didn't feel formulaic to me, perhaps it might to the chinese audience. So I only gave it eight, rather than the nine that was tempting me.

So why is this film so unknown, alone and unrated? That, I think, is the result of the unfortunate terms of its original release. Subtitled chinese movies at the time would appeal only to a specialist audience - (and Enter the Dragon had not yet appeared to change all that ) . But the specialist audience would instantly have been put off by the unfortunate "Confessions" marketing title, which immediately put it into the category of the contemporary naff British comedy series "Confessions of a window cleaner" and the like. Many a time I have tried to recommend this film title to friends only to be looked at incredulously as if - oh dear - how pathetic. Not that they would have found it easy to see it - it can't have enjoyed wide release.

Now is the time for re-release.

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