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

R  |   |  Drama, Music, Romance  |  15 October 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 16,150 users  
Reviews: 79 user | 44 critic

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



(novel) (as Lillian Lee) , (screenplay) (as Lillian Lee) , 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Qi Lü ...
Master Guan
Da Ying ...
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


"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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

opera | school | friend | boy | prostitute | See All (171) »


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


Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

15 October 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Farewell My Concubine  »

Box Office


$5,216,888 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (USA) (theatrical)

Sound Mix:


(flashback sequence)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Lone was offered for role of Cheng Dieyi but dropped out. See more »


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 »


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 »


Referenced in Veronica Mars (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Beautiful, captivating movie...
12 January 2004 | by (The cookie jar (with clowns...)) – See all my reviews

'Farewell My Concubine' is, in a word, excellent.

Though often portrayed as haunting and disturbing, it's also quite touching at times... attributed largely to the outstanding emotional performances by the film's lead cast. Hands down, Chen Kaige has directed one of the most beautiful films involving the fall of the great Imperial China... and subsequently... the friendship of two of China's greatest leading opera performers.

Leslie Cheung's role as Cheng Dieyi, the tormented 'concubine' of the story, is absolutely astounding, and is probably one of his greatest performances to date. Fengyi Zhang plays well opposite Cheung, and Gong Li is fantastic as always. The production sets are superb, as are the costumes and cinematography.

Definitely a must see for all fans of foreign cinema, and certainly worthwhile for all newcomers.

10 out of 10

16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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