Down 39,334 this week

A City of Sadness (1989)
"Bei qing cheng shi" (original title)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 2,426 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 12 critic

A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.


0Check in

TV Spotlight: The Top 10 Episodes of "The Walking Dead"

We've curated a list of the top 10 episodes of "The Walking Dead" according to the IMDb user ratings.

Read More

Related News

Cafe Lumiere
| The Hollywood Reporter

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 23 Jun 2011
a list of 43 titles
created 09 Mar 2013
a list of 30 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 31 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 36 titles
created 1 week ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: A City of Sadness (1989)

A City of Sadness (1989) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A City of Sadness.
8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the first half of this century, young Li Tienlu joines a travelling puppet theatre and subsequently makes a career as one of Taiwan's leading puppeteers. During World War II the Japanese... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tian-Lu Li, Giong Lim, Ming Hwa Bai
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A glimpse at the lives of two petty criminals in Taipei.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Shih-huang Chen, Hsiang Hsi, Kuei-Ying Hsu
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Intended as the concluding film in the trilogy on the modern history of Taiwan began with Beiqing Chengshi (1989), this film reveals the story through three levels: a film within a film as ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Annie Shizuka Inoh, Giong Lim, Jack Kao
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In Shanghai in the 1880s there are four elegant brothels (flower houses): each has an auntie (called madam), a courtesan in her prime, older servants, and maturing girls in training. The ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Michiko Hada, Michelle Reis
Three Times (2005)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three stories set in three times, 1911, 1966 and 2005. Two actors play the two main characters in each story.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Qi Shu, Chen Chang, Fang Mei
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Taipei. A voice off-camera looks back ten years to 2000, when Vicky was in an on-again off-again relationship with Hao-Hao. She's young, lovely, and aimless. He's a slacker. Cigarettes and ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Qi Shu, Jack Kao, Chun-hao Tuan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Yo Hitoto, Tadanobu Asano, Masato Hagiwara
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The semi-autobiographical film on director Hou Hsiao-Hsien's childhood and adolescence, when he was growing up in Taiwan, living through the deaths of his father, mother and grandmother.

Directors: Hsiao-Hsien Hou, Jia-hua Lao, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Chia-bao Chang, Neng Chang, Chih-chen Chen
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A-yuan and A-yun are both from the small mining town of Jio-fen. In the city, A-yuan is an apprentice by day and goes to night school, and A-yun works as a helper at a tailors. Everyone ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Shu-Fang Chen, Shu-fen Hsin, Lawrence Ko
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Lin Yang, Jack Kao, Shu-Fang Chen
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a young brother and sister spend a pivotal summer away from home, they are changed. Ting-Ting and Tung-Tung (Wang Qiguang) are children of the city, but when their mother is struck ill... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Chi-Kuang Wang, Shu-Chen Li, Hsiu-Ling Lin
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Based from true story, primarily a conflict between two youth gangs, 14-year-old young boy's girlfriend conflict with the head of the gang for unclear reason, until finally there was a painfully incident.

Director: Edward Yang
Stars: Chen Chang, Lisa Yang, Kuo-Chu Chang


Credited cast:
Shu-fen Hsin ...
Sung Young Chen ...
Jack Kao ...
Wen Leung
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wou Yi Fang ...
Ai-yun Ho ...
Bg Brother Chie
Chien-ru Huang
Tian-Lu Li ...
Ju Lin
Lih-Ching Lin ...
(as Liqing Lin)
Ikuyo Nakamura ...
Chen-Nan Tsai
Chang-Chiang Yang


A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History


See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 October 1989 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

A Cidade da Dor  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


No.5 in the Hong Kong Film Awards' List of The Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures See more »


Followed by The Puppetmaster (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Confucian Cinematic Ritual
21 March 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is definitely one of my all-time favorite movies. Before watching A City of Sadness, I subconsciously had this notion that somehow there were certain ways (or methods) feature narrative films should be made. Oh…how wrong I was. Experiencing this movie was like… the first time I saw Asian art, no more like the first time I tasted Chinese food as a kid. It was more than different. It was delightful! This film totally enlightened me! This poetic masterpiece changed the way I view cinema. This film which deals with modernity of Taiwan, feels more like a Confucian ritual, an ancestral rite of some sort. And at the same time like many of Hou Hsiao-hsien's other films, this movie deals with the theme of 'growth'. Hou seems to tell us over and over again that growth is learning to say goodbye to the things we love. One beautiful movie. I strongly recommend it to the cinephiles who haven't yet tasted this great cinematic treat.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
english subs ms2cat
How do I see this movie with English subs? ska_punk53
translation of text stills? ninjaalice
Theme music on NBC tagimaucia
Cambridge Arts cinema juda_ji
Discuss A City of Sadness (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: