7.8/10
1,037
15 user 12 critic

The Goddess (1934)

Shen nu (original title)
TV-PG | | Drama | 1934 (China)
Street walker by night, devoted mother by day, a woman fights to get her young son an education amid criminal and social injustice in China.

Director:

Writer:

(script director) (as Wu Yonggang)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A lonely housewife finds her monotonous life altered when her childhood sweetheart returns to town.

Director: Mu Fei
Stars: Chaoming Cui, Wei Li, Yu Shi
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

With King Ranjit visiting him, King Sohat sees an opportunity to kill his young cousin and take over his kingdom. One of Sohat's henchmen fells Ranjit with a poisoned arrow, making it look ... See full summary »

Director: Franz Osten
Stars: Seeta Devi, Himansu Rai, Charu Roy
Street Angel (1937)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In old Shanghai, two sisters, a prostitute and a singer, tried to escape from the local scoundrels with the help of a trumpet player and a newspaper seller.

Director: Muzhi Yuan
Stars: Dan Zhao, Heling Wei, Xuan Zhou
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

China's first horror film, this is loosely based on The Phantom of the Opera. A disfigured musical genius roams a traditional Chinese opera house, punishing those who offend him.

Director: Weibang Ma-Xu
Stars: Menghe Gu, Ping Hu, Shan Jin
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Architect Peter Ibbetson is hired by the Duke of Towers to design a building for him. Ibbetson discovers that the Duchess of Towers, Mary, is his now-grown childhood sweetheart. Their love ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, Ann Harding, John Halliday
Center Stage (1991)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Biopic of 1930's Chinese actress Ruan Ling Yu.

Director: Stanley Kwan
Stars: Maggie Cheung, Han Chin, Tony Ka Fai Leung
The Eagle (1925)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A wanted Russian lieutenant becomes a masked vigilante seeking vengeance upon the man who stole his family's land, only to fall for his charming daughter.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Bánky, Louise Dresser
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A charming scoundrel reflects on his exploits, from childhood through to manhood.

Director: Sacha Guitry
Stars: Sacha Guitry, Marguerite Moreno, Jacqueline Delubac
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In 1910 the British Antarctic Expedition, led by Capt. Robert F. Scott, embarks from Lyttleton, NZ on a quest to become the first to reach the South Pole.

Director: Herbert G. Ponting
Stars: Robert Falcon Scott, Herbert G. Ponting
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A man takes a job at an asylum with hopes of freeing his imprisoned wife.

Director: Teinosuke Kinugasa
Stars: Masuo Inoue, Ayako Iijima, Yoshie Nakagawa
Limite (1931)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Three people sail aimlessly while remembering their past.

Director: Mario Peixoto
Stars: Olga Breno, Tatiana Rey, Raul Schnoor
Yellow Earth (1984)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

'Yellow Earth' focuses on the story of a communist soldier who is sent to the countryside to collect folk songs for the Communist Revolution. There he stays with a peasant family and learns... See full summary »

Director: Chen Kaige
Stars: Xueqi Wang, Bai Xue, Quiang Liu
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Lingyu Ruan ...
The 'Goddess' (as Ruan Ling-Yu)
Tian Jian
Zhizhi Zhang ...
The 'Boss' (as Zhang Zhizhi)
Keng Li ...
Son (as Li Keng)
Edit

Storyline

An unnamed devoted mother sells herself by night on the streets of Shanghai in order to support herself and her infant son. When a gambler who calls himself "the Boss" strong-arms his way into becoming her pimp, she flees with her son and attempts to earn an honest living, but the Boss tracks her down and forces her back into prostitution. When her son reaches school age, she begins hiding away enough money to pay his tuition. Although her son is ostracized by other kids due to her profession, she takes great joy in providing an education and a potential better future for him. When the other parents want the boy expelled, a kindly principal fights to keep him in school. Meanwhile, the Boss finds her hidden cash, adding financial woes to the problems of social injustice. Written by TimeNTide

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1934 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Bogini  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2008 TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Sensitive and exquisite performance By Ruan Lingyu
20 October 2004 | by (Kuala Lumpur) – See all my reviews

As an ancient Chinese poet has mentioned before, "it is even mesmerizing to be silent rather than with sound"... this is what i would like to quote here to describe the feeling when i was watching " Shennv".

A quite simple plot, but truly a heartbreak story...Even though it is not a talkie, no background music( the VCD version i watched), no color, but her splendid acting already captured my heart, the way she express the sorrow and the ambivalent being a wonderful mother and a depressed prostitute is simply captivating...I am wandering how a young actress (she should be 24 at that time), without any formal education of performing art, will able to achieve such a superb and impressive acting skills...no doubt she has become one of the screen legend in cinema history...

it is no doubt a genuine classics in Chinese silent cinema, worth watching...


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
On TCM June 9, 2008, 12am dautkomm
The Goddess meyerhar
question.... rilley86
Featured in 'The Story of Film: An Odyssey' MarrG
Interesting interpretation of the title, 'The Goddess' ZolotoyRetriever
Discuss The Goddess (1934) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?