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The King of Masks (1996)
"Bian Lian" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  16 April 1999 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,695 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 29 critic

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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Cast

Credited cast:
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:

16 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El rey de las máscaras  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$1,104,619 (USA) (25 February 2000)
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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

The best Chinese movie I've seen
12 March 2001 | by (Colorado) – See all my reviews

It was a delightful surprise! This movie does not have Gong Li as a lead actress, but it has the quality that beats any other Chinese movies I've seen. I watched 3 Chinese films yesterday: "Crouching Tigers, Hidden Dragons", "The Emporor and the Assasin" and "King of the Masks (Bian Lian)". Despite of the high profiles of the other two, "King of the Masks" is the only one that left tremendous impression on me. It is a beautiful, touching film. Well done.


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