IMDb > Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
Da hong deng long gao gao gua
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Raise the Red Lantern (1991) More at IMDbPro »Da hong deng long gao gao gua (original title)


Overview

User Rating:
8.3/10   19,133 votes »
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Down 28% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Su Tong (novel)
Ni Zhen
Contact:
View company contact information for Raise the Red Lantern on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 December 1991 (France) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
China, 1920. One master, four wives.
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 22 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Four Houses See more (101 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Li Gong ... Songlian
Saifei He ... Meishan (Third Wife)
Cuifen Cao ... Zhuoyan (Second Wife)
Jingwu Ma ... The Master
Qi Zhao ... Housekeeper
Lin Kong ... Yan'er
Shuyuan Jin ... Yuru (First Wife)
Weimin Ding ... Songlian's mother
Zhengyin Cao ... Old servant
Zhihgang Cui ... Dr. Gao
Chu Xiao ... Feipu
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Baotian Li ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Yimou Zhang 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Su Tong  novel
Ni Zhen 

Produced by
Fu-Sheng Chiu .... producer
Hsiao-hsien Hou .... executive producer (as Hsiao-Hsien Hou)
Wenze Zhang .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Naoki Tachikawa 
Jiping Zhao 
 
Cinematography by
Lun Yang 
Fei Zhao 
 
Film Editing by
Yuan Du 
 
Art Direction by
Juiping Cao 
 
Costume Design by
Huamiao Tong 
 
Production Management
Yiting Feng .... production manager
Dehe Ma .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jianjun He .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Lanhua Li .... sound
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lihua Huang .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Tod Scott Brody .... post-production: USA
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Da hong deng long gao gao gua" - China (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
125 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Banned in China for a short time in the early 1990s.See more »
Quotes:
The Third Concubine:She has the face of Buddha and the heart of a scorpianSee more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Turandot Project (2000)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
13 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Four Houses, 19 March 2008
Author: tedg (tedg@filmsfolded.com) from Virginia Beach

I had a good day, so I selected this film. I have several films that I reserve for good days because I know they will reward. Its a sort of celebration that will send me into rich dreams, annotating my life.

This has two known qualities that you, dear reader, can expect without knowing anything about the film itself.

First, you will know that this is a woman directed by someone deeply in love with her. This doesn't always produce great films, but when the director is inherently cinematic, it often evokes something deep in the viewer. There is nothing in the world like looking on the face — the person — you are centered on. A million subtle decisions are made in each scene, summing to an effect that cannot be missed. If this had poor narrative qualities (and some of their films did) it would still have this quality of seeing into a soulmate deeply enough to be able to animate the skin.

Its quite interesting when you consider the woman. If you see her outside of film, or in films made by ordinary eyes, she is quite ordinary. She has an atypical Chinese body: busty and widehipped. She is poised but doesn't have the neck or cheekboned face of other Asian women. Only under this man's eye is she a goddess. You can see this in the very first shot.

The second thing you can count on is the architectural anchoring of the thing. This man knows how to use space. He uses it in the cinematic narrative, for example, if you replay the shots where the house of death is shown, and then the last encounter with it... And if you understand why the decisions about handling distance and surfaces were made they way they were, you will have entered a zone where from now on you will not be able to reason without reasoning with place.

But there are other handlings of space: As with some of his other films, the building is a character. Its the noir narrator who sets the rules — often arbitrary — under which all characters are bound to operate, and which drives the narrative. Its a particularly western notion, this, and has gotten our hero in trouble, even banned. This part is following Welles and Kubrick.

But he goes further than either of them with this notion that the light both has agency of its own (it selects which of the four wives gets a foot massage and sex) and is a part of the fabric of the buildings. The redness changes the spaces it occupies, bringing intrigue with the sex, desire for several things. Its quite layered, what is going on. These lanterns are the real master; in fact the person who inhabits the master's body is hardly even there. We never see his face.

Because of the extensive use of hard planes and selfish light, there aren't many fabric effects here, as we'll see elsewhere.

I am tempted to designate this as one of my two allowed "must see before you die" films of 1991. But I'm in too good a mood to make such a serious decision.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why was it banned in China? digitalevk
DVD RELEASE!!!!! lachesistriforce
Is she really crazy? jhandy-1
What happened to Dr. Gao? neilvalentinedsilva
The film's message is more than oppression in communist China rpizzeghello
Really Wonderful House neilvalentinedsilva
See more »

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