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Not far from Shanghai, in a country twon stands the palatial home of the Pang family. Old Master Pang is an addict who brings up his beautiful daughter Ruyi on opium smoke. Her older brother, Zhengda, is addicted as well, and then paralysed and effectively brain-dead. Zhongliang, Zhengda's brother-in-law, is a successful gigolo in Shanghai who seduces married older women and then blackmails them. When Older Master Pang dies, the clan elders makes Ruyi to take over the role as the head of the household. Zhongliang returns to the Pang family on the death of Old Master Pang, re-encounters Ruyi, and they are secretly attracted to each other. Wanting to seem sophisticated, she succumbs to Zhongliang's attempts to seduce her. But in the emotional maelstrom that follows - for the angry, jealous and sexually frustrated sister (Zhengda's wife) is also part of the picture... Written by
L.H. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Two months into shooting, Chen Kaige had to let his leading lady go and replaced her with Li Gong. This was immediately followed by a delay in filming due to bad weather. Both of these factors contributed to the budget doubling to US $4 million. Even then, the film's problems were not over - the Chinese authorities then banned the film due to its political undercurrent and explicit scenes. See more »
I watched this movie on the T.V. and I think if I had seen it in a theatre I would have rated it higher than 7. It is a fascinating story, beautifully told. The atmosphere created was wonderful. The story is tragic. The early childhood of Zhongliang was horrifying, as was the life led by the Pang family,addicted to opium; the cruelty shown him by his sister and brother-in-law truly shaped Zhongliang's character. Part of the movie is set in Shanghai in about the 1920's seemed real. It is a sad tale of corruption and cruelty.
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