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Shanghai Triad (1995)

Yao a yao, yao dao wai po qiao (original title)
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2:13 | Trailer
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:
...
Xiao Jingbao
Baotian Li ...
Tang, the Gang Boss
Wang Xiaoxiao ...
Shuisheng, the boy
...
Liu, 6th Uncle
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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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 »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

22 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shanghai Triad  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$2,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

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: [to Song] Just because you fucked me you think you're the boss?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful
5 September 2000 | by See all my reviews

This film is, foremost, a gangster film, but Zhang Yimou tells it from a much more interesting angle. As far as the plot about moles and trying to find the traitor in the group, it's old hat. What isn't, however, is seeing how the children, practically enslaved by a triad boss, begin to slowly turn into the type of people that Tang and Bijou are throughout the movie.

Another refreshing change was, despite Tang's wealth, the triads are not romanticized like the mafia often is in this country. Tang, unlike Vito Corleone, is a ruthless killer, born and bred, not a family man forced into a situation.

What impresses me most about Zhang Yimou's films are the cyclic nature, where everything comes full circle in the end. For many, the colors and political messages are the topic of discussion, but watching events carry out within a restricted time, and follow the Eastern idea of cyclical rather than linear time, is more interesting, since these characters continue to develop in one's head even after the movie has ended.


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