103 user 49 critic

Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

Da hong deng long gao gao gua (original title)
A young woman becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, and must learn to live with the strict rules and tensions within the household.



Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Saifei He ...
Meishan (Third Wife)
Cuifen Cao ...
Zhuoyan (Second Wife)
Jingwu Ma ...
The Master
Qi Zhao ...
Lin Kong ...
Shuyuan Jin ...
Yuru (First Wife)
Weimin Ding ...
Zhengyin Cao ...
Old servant
Zhihgang Cui ...
Dr. Gao
Chu Xiao ...


China in the 1920's. After her father's death, nineteen year old Songlian is forced to marry Chen Zuoqian, the lord of a powerful family. Fifty year old Chen has already three wives, each of them living in separate houses within the great castle. The competition between the wives is tough, as their master's attention carries power, status and privilege. Each night Chen must decide with which wife to spend the night and a red lantern is lit in front of the house of his choice. And each wife schemes and plots to make sure it's hers. However, things get out of hand... Written by Mattias Pettersson <seaman@sbbs.se>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


China, 1920. One master, four wives.


Drama | History | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

20 December 1991 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Raise the Red Lantern  »

Box Office


$2,603,061 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"The Master's" face is never seen. It is either obscured behind thin curtains or out of shot. See more »


The Third Concubine: She has the face of Buddha and the heart of a scorpian
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Featured in Nitrate Base (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

A Masterpiece beyond the definition
27 December 2003 | by (N.C.) – See all my reviews

Every frame of this film explodes with excellent acting, cinematography, music and art direction. I never thought I would see something so beautiful in a foreign film since Ingmar Bergman's work. This is by no means, an art film this is a human film, while holding an ethnic background these people portrayed in the film are all of us and is probably what we would call a fable on the cruelty of humanity. I'am disgusted to discover this film isn't on video or DVD in america. It seems as if its popularity has run thin since the 90's but this is a masterpiece people!

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