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The King of Masks (1996)

Bian Lian (original title)
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Wang Bianlian is an aging street performer known as the King of Mask for his mastery of Sichuan Change Art in a true story. His wife left him with and infant son over 30 years ago. The son ... See full summary »

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19 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Zhaoji Jia ...
Slave trader
Zhigang Zhang ...
Sulan, Luo
Zhigang Zhao ...
Liang Sao Lang
Renying Zhou ...
Gou Wa ("Doggie")
Xu Zhu ...
Bianlian Wang
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Storyline

Wang Bianlian is an aging street performer known as the King of Mask for his mastery of Sichuan Change Art in a true story. His wife left him with and infant son over 30 years ago. The son died from illness at age 10. This left Wang a melancholy loner aching for a male descendent to learn his rare and dying art. A famous master performer of the Sichuan Opera offers to bring him into his act, thus giving Wang fame and possible fortune, but Wang opts for staying the simple street performer. Then, one night after a performance he is sold a young boy by a slave trader posing as the boy's parent. "Grandpa" finds new joy in life as he plans to teach "Doggie" (an affectionate term often used for young children in China) his art. All is well until Doggie is found out to really be a girl. Written by Steve Uptegraft <bluzman@voyager.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

17 May 1997 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

El rey de las máscaras  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$394,272 (USA) (11 June 1999)

Gross:

$1,104,619 (USA) (25 February 2000)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Wang (The Mask King) is performing for the soldiers who insist on having his secret, his missing front tooth is there in one scene, then gone in the next. See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 3 July 1999 (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

It reminded me of Mulan.
11 June 2000 | by (Hawaii, USA) – See all my reviews

This movie reminded me of Mulan- only because I saw Mulan first. It was a great film, and as an Asian female and a first-generation American, I found myself relating to "Doggie" (the little girl; by translation). I usually don't cry during movies (and I don't think being 8 and watching The Land Before Time counts), but I do admit my eyes did water up. I was impressed at the production quality of this film and I appreciated the accuracy of its set period. It's imagery was hauntingly beautiful and throughout the film I was questioning this film's budget (The Red Violin as well)- I was contemplating how they were able to afford props and costumes and still be able to release, promote and distribute the film at the same time. The King Of Masks is one of those wonderful pieces of International Cinema that almost everyone can agree on.


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