6.8/10
7,335
45 user 31 critic

M. Butterfly (1993)

In 1960s China, French diplomat Rene Gallimard falls in love with an opera singer, Song Liling - but Song is not at all who Gallimard thinks.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (HD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crash (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas
Spider (2002)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A mentally disturbed man takes residence in a halfway house. His mind gradually slips back into the realm created by his illness, where he replays a key part of his childhood.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne
Dead Ringers (1988)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Twin gynecologists take full advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart, until their relationship begins to deteriorate over a woman.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold, Heidi von Palleske
Fast Company (1979)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The famous drag racer Lonnie 'Lucky Man' Johnson is the star of the Fast Company, managed by the corrupt Phil Adamson Lonnie is the mentor of the promising funny car racer Billy 'The Kid' ... See full summary »

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: William Smith, Claudia Jennings, John Saxon
Naked Lunch (1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally kills his wife, and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm
The Brood (1979)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man tries to uncover an unconventional psychologist's therapy techniques on his institutionalized wife, amidst a series of brutal murders.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle
Shivers (1975)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry
Rabid (1977)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young woman develops a taste for human blood after undergoing experimental plastic surgery, and her victims turn into rabid, blood-thirsty zombies who proceed to infect others, which turns into a city-wide epidemic.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Marilyn Chambers, Frank Moore, Joe Silver
Cosmopolis (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Riding across Manhattan in a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager's day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Crimes of the Future details the wanderings of Tripod (Mlodzik), sometime director of a dermatological clinic called the House of Skin, who is searching for his mentor, the mad ... See full summary »

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Ronald Mlodzik, Jon Lidolt, Tania Zolty
Stereo (1969)
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Sometime in the future, the Canadian Academy for Erotic Inquiry is investigating the theories of parapsychologist Luther Stringfellow. Seven young adults volunteer to submit to a form of ... See full summary »

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Ronald Mlodzik, Jack Messinger, Paul Mulholland
eXistenZ (1999)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ian Holm
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jeanne Gallimard
...
Annabel Leventon ...
Shizuko Hoshi ...
Richard McMillan ...
Embassy Colleague
...
Agent Etancelin
David Hemblen ...
Intelligence Officer #1
Damir Andrei ...
Intelligence Officer #2
Antony Parr ...
Intelligence Officer #3
Margaret Ma ...
Song's Maid
Tristram Jellinek ...
Defense Attorney
Philip McGough ...
Prosecution Attorney
...
Judge
Edit

Storyline

During the Cultural Revolution in China in the mid-1960s, a French diplomat falls in love with a singer in the Beijing Opera. Interwoven with allusions to the Puccini opera "Madama Butterfly", a story of love and betrayal unfolds. Written by Michael C. Berch <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

china | opera | spy | betrayal | 1960s | See All (21) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and a brief bloody sequence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 October 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

M. Baterflaj  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,499,795
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Chinese opera being performed by Song near the beginning is called "Gui Fei Zui Jiu", aka "The Drunken Concubine", aka "Yang Gui Fei Gets Tipsy". See more »

Goofs

The word accordion is misspelled "accordian" in the closing credits. See more »

Quotes

Song Liling: I am slightly afraid of scandal.
Rene Gallimard: What are we doing that's scandalous?
Song Liling: I'm entertaining you in my parlor.
Rene Gallimard: Where I come from, that would hardly be construed as...
Song Liling: You come from France. France is a country living in the modern era, perhaps even ahead of it. China is a nation whose soul is firmly rooted 2000 years in the past. What I do - even pouring tea for you now - it has implications. Please go. Please, Monsieur Gallimard...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 8 ½ Women (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Sometimes love knows no gender
24 May 2011 | by See all my reviews

Or, conversely, love doesn't know the gender it loves.

Jeremy Irons and John Lone star in "M. Butterfly," based on the hit play by David Henry Hwang. In the mid-'60s, while the cultural revolution is going on in China, French Vice Consul Phillipe Bouriscot (Irons) falls in love with a singer, Song (John Lone), who performs with the Bejing opera. He believes Song to be a woman. And, like the story of "Madame Butterfly," there is love, there is betrayal, and there is humiliation.

As unbelievable as this story might be, it's based on a true one. The film doesn't go into how this fantasy was actually executed physically, but in point of fact, in real life, the character played by Irons believed he had gotten Song pregnant. Odd but true.

David Cronenberg does an excellent job with this dark, mysterious film, and the actors are terrific, each character hooked on this fantasy in his own way. The end of the film is haunting.

Well worth seeing.


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 45 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page