7.2/10
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38 user 28 critic

Yao a yao, yao dao wai po qiao (1995)

A provincial boy related to a Shanghai crime family is recruited by his uncle into cosmopolitan Shanghai in the 1930s to be a servant to a ganglord's mistress.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Xiaoxiao Wang ...
...
Chun Sun ...
Song, Tang's No. 2
Biao Fu ...
Zheng, Tang's No.3
Shu Chen ...
Shi Ye
Jiang Liu ...
Fat Yu
Baoying Jiang ...
Cuihua, the Widow
Qianquan Yang ...
Ah Jiao
Ying Gao
Weiming Gao
Shuliang Lian
Ya'nan Wang
Zhang Yayun
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Storyline

Uncle Liu brings his cousin to Shanghai to work for 'Boss,' the leader of a powerful drug empire in the 1930's. Shuisheng, a simple country boy is awed and overwhelmed by the opulence and immense wealth he is suddenly surrounded by. He is to be the attendant of Xiao Jingbao, the new mistress of 'Boss.' While he fumbles with the demands of his new role, much intrigue is going on around him, well beyond his bewildered perception. Xiao Jingbao is having a tumultuous affair, Fat Yu is starting a gang war, and 'Boss' is beginning to suspect that one of his trusted men is not loyal. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

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In 1930's Shanghai violence was not the problem. It was the solution.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and images of violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

22 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shanghai Triad  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was a difficult film for Yimou Zhang to make. His relationship with his leading lady Li Gong was coming to an acrimonious end and the Chinese authorities were deliberately hassling him with complicated and elusive work permits. That was mainly because they were still annoyed with him for submitting his previous film To Live (1994) to the Cannes Film Festival without their permission. See more »

Quotes

Xiao Jingbao: You know the rule - your ass is your own, but if you get fondled in here, the money is mine.
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Connections

Featured in The 68th Annual Academy Awards (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A stunner in every respect
23 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

Here's something you don't see every day - a mobster movie that focuses on the evil of criminals, instead of their coolness. "Shanghai Triad" shows you how mob violence destroys the life of a gangster's moll and endangers her innocent, fresh-from-the-country servant. It's exactly the kind of story you wouldn't see in a Hollywood movie - which is, I suppose, why we watch this weird foreign stuff!

Gong Li is, as ever, forceful and compelling, with a role that's infinitely more interesting than what America's "lead" actresses usually get. She's very glamorous here, and totally unlike the peasant characters she played in "To Live" and several other films. What a wonderful, versatile actress.

The film's other strengths include gorgeous, award-winning cinematography, interesting point-of-view shots, and an effective shift from an urban to a country setting that's pulled off very smoothly. It's a shame that this is the last film that director Zhang Yimou and Gong Li made together, but at least it caps off their collaboration on a high note.


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