Hong se lian ren (1998)

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The film tells of Dr. Robert Payne's adventures in Shanghai 50 years ago. Payne falls in love with beautiful Qiuqiu, the consort of revolutionary hero Jin, who is a communist leader in the ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Ting Mei ...
Quiqui (as Mei Ting)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dr. Robert Payne
Col. Clark
Yilan Ni
Zeru Tao ...
Hao Ming


The film tells of Dr. Robert Payne's adventures in Shanghai 50 years ago. Payne falls in love with beautiful Qiuqiu, the consort of revolutionary hero Jin, who is a communist leader in the Shanghai underground However, he suffers from seizures caused by old head wounds and becomes Payne's patient. Hao Ming is the brutal chief of the Guomintang secret police. In his hunt for Jin, he discovers that Qiuqiu is his long lost daughter. At a lavish father-daughter reunion, Qiuqiu gets her revenge and shots Hao Ming. She's been arrested and admits her guilt. When Jin realizes how much Qiuqiu loves him, he offers to give himself up in exchange for commuting Qiuqiu's death sentence... Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

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Plot Keywords:

chinese | based on true story | See All (2) »


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

18 November 1999 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Shanghai Story  »

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User Reviews

Set in 1930's Shanghai, a triangle of passion, sacrifice and deceit culminates in the destruction of three loves as the Revolution comes into Shaghai.
6 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In love with revolutionary hero Jin (Leslie Cheung) and desperate to find a way to keep him alive and safe, Qiuqiu (Mei Ting) risks everything to contact an American doctor, (Todd Babcock) and beg for the medicine he needs. But when the good doctor, Robert Payne, falls for the mysterious young woman, he catches the attention of the authorities in their search for Jin. As the manhunt closes in, and Payne realizes his desire to help this girl may have been the ruin of everything she fights for.

This was a pivotal film in the history of Chinese cinema. It is the first widely released mainland Chinese film developed with Western screenwriters (there are more than one credited Western writer on the film). It's the first mainland Chinese film shot with 80% of its dialog in English. The acting may not be sublime, but the film resonates with passion. Director Ye Daying's other seminal work, Red Cherries, likewise carries a powerful subject, and brings it to light in his unique way. I like this film.

Another reviewer wanted to liken it Casablanca, and seemed angry that it fell short. But it is not a Western film. The American is not the hero walking off into a dramatic sunset. In this film, America is a spectator to a love that plays out in the quest for a new dawn in a country wrapped in turmoil. Taken on its own terms, it is easy to see why this film has won so many awards from countries around the world. But please, don't expect Casablanca.

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