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Farewell My Concubine (1993)
"Ba wang bie ji" (original title)

 -  Drama | Music | Romance  -  15 October 1993 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 14,087 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 42 critic

The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years.

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Farewell My Concubine (1993)

Farewell My Concubine (1993) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Cheung ...
Fengyi Zhang ...
...
Qi Lü ...
Master Guan
Da Ying ...
Manager
...
Chun Li ...
Xiao Si (in his teens)
Han Lei ...
Xiao Si (adult)
Di Tong ...
Zhang the Eunuch
Mingwei Ma ...
Douzi as a Child
Yang Fei ...
Shitou as a Child
Zhi Yin ...
Douzi as a Teenager
Hailong Zhao ...
Shitou as a Teenager
Dan Li ...
Laizi / Peking Opera schoolboy
Wenli Jiang ...
Douzi's Mother
Edit

Storyline

"Farewell, My Concubine" is a movie with two parallel, intertwined stories. It is the story of two performers in the Beijing Opera, stage brothers, and the woman who comes between them. At the same time, it attempts to do no less than squeeze the entire political history of China in the twentieth century into a three-hour time-frame. Written by Michael Kim <leda@imsa.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

opera | school | friend | boy | prostitute | See more »

Taglines:

The passionate story of two lifelong friends and the woman who comes between them.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and strong depiction of thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

15 October 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Farewell My Concubine  »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,216,888 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(some scenes)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The very first film from the People's Republic of China to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. See more »

Goofs

When Douzi is first examined by the owner of the opera troupe, his extra finger is on his right hand below the thumb. When he withdraws the hand from the opera troupe owner, he pulls back his left arm. When his mother cuts the extra finger off a few moments later, it is now on his left hand, next to his pinkie. See more »

Quotes

Master Yuan: A smile ushers in the spring.
Master Yuan: A tear does darken all the world.
Master Yuan: How truly does this befit you. To you... only you are possessed of such charm.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: Women of Questionable Morals (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Opening and closing scenes
17 February 2005 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

quote by tedg: "Opening scenes are seductions, promises. They transport one to the world of the story and establish who you as viewer can expect to be. Done right, they are an art to themselves. This film's opening is among the best I've seen, establishing the world of performance: politics as theater and love as both. It lets you know the perspective is centered on a stylized stage and concerns loss, sexually ambiguous brotherhood and betrayal. All in a couple minutes."

Well put. Also noteworthy is that at the end of the movie the opening scene is being mirrored (the two actors on stage being lit by a spot light), the film thus coming full circle. Quite ingenious.

What is good about the movie is that we (Westerners that is) learn a lot about recent Chinese history, which cannot be a bad thing considering the direction in which China is heading.

Oh, and Leslie Cheung's - may he rest in peace - performance is simply outstanding. But then, the acting is first rate all round.

This is one hell of a movie.

And, off topic, I have once again realised that the problem with sub-titled films is that one misses so much/too much of the actual acting, making it really necessary to view movies twice. Still, (a lot) better than viewing dubbed films though.


27 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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