8.2/10
23,114
102 user 52 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.

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Writers:

(novel),
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Cuifen Cao ...
Zhuoyan (Second Wife)
Jingwu Ma ...
The Master
Qi Zhao ...
Lin Kong ...
Shuyuan Jin ...
Yuru (First Wife)
Weimin Ding ...
Zhengyin Cao ...
Old servant
Zhigang Cui ...
Dr. Gao (as Zhihgang Cui)
Chu Xiao ...
Feipu
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

China, 1920. One master, four wives.

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1991 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Raise the Red Lantern  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,603,061
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed at the Qiao Family Compound near the city of Pingyao. The complex is now open for tours, however, nowhere is there any mention of the film. See more »

Quotes

Songlian: I'm just one of the Master's robes. He can wear it or he can take it off.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Turandot Project (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Amazing film of domestic tragedy in 1920s China
2 February 1999 | by See all my reviews

Zhang Yimou solidifies his standing as one of cinema's most brilliant craftsmen with Raise the Red Lantern, a heartbreaking and fascinating look into the life of a young, well-educated woman who gives up her future to become the fourth wife of a wealthy landowner in 1920s China. Gong Li, the director's longtime muse, delivers a performance nearly unsurpassed by anyone, male or female, in the 1990s (and many other decades, as well). Her opening close-up is an indelible image of sorrow and resignation capable of drawing tears out of a statue. Zhang Yimou makes films as exquisitely composed as any master's painting, and his palette extends beyond the obvious beauty of Gong Li to include the details of the courtyards, lanterns, silks, and rooftops with an inexplicable mixture of tranquility and austerity.


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