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Devils on the Doorstep (2000)
"Guizi lai le" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama | War  -  14 March 2001 (France)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 4,179 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 21 user | 35 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

During the Japanese occupation of China, two prisoners are dumped in a peasant's home in a small town. The owner is bullied into keeping the prisoners until the next New Year, at which time... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (story), 7 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Ma Dasan
Yihong Jiang ...
Yu'er (as Hongbo Jiang)
...
Kosaburo Hanaya
Ding Yuan ...
Dong Hanchen
Zhijun Cong ...
Grandfather
Zi Xi ...
Liu Wang
Haibin Li ...
Me
...
Inokichi Sakatsuka
Weidong Cai ...
Er Bozi
Lianmei Chen ...
Aunt
Yoshimoto Miyaji ...
Koji Nonomura
Qiang Chen ...
'One-Stroke' Liu
David Wu ...
Major Gao
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Storyline

During the Japanese occupation of China, two prisoners are dumped in a peasant's home in a small town. The owner is bullied into keeping the prisoners until the next New Year, at which time they will be collected. The village leaders convene to interrogate the prisoners. The townspeople then struggle to accommodate the prisoners. One is a bellicose Japanese nationalist, the other a nervous translator. Will the townspeople manage to keep the prisoners until the New Year? Written by Ken Miller <wkmiller704@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

14 March 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Devils on the Doorstep  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,227 (USA) (20 December 2002)

Gross:

$18,223 (USA) (21 February 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| |

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Wu's character Major Gao in his first entrance to the compound ordered at the Japanese army peddler to move his belongings away in Cantonese, then in Mandarin. See more »

Goofs

When the jeep brakes to avoid running over the record player, the sound is tires locking up on pavement. However, they are on a dirt road. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Bright, Shining example of Chinese cinema.
12 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There is no question that the Japanese occupation of mainland China during WWII was marked by unimaginable cruelty and actions so barbaric that any sane human being would shudder at the description of them. This is all obvious to anyone who has had an unbiased, detailed education of that dreadful time period. On the surface, Jiang Wen's film touches on these acts to illuminate what it must have been like for the Chinese to cope with the Japanese "devils". But a thorough viewing of the film reveals so many more questions not just about the Chinese and Japanese but about the universal relationship between war and humans. Wen directs this film in a peculiar way. He uses comedy that forces us to laugh at things that we shouldn't. You find yourself smirking or smiling in moments until you catch yourself and remember that the whole scene in which you were laughing at was where character's lives were at stake. Most people will read this and not see what is so masterful about this approach. What makes Wen's quirkiness work is that it illuminates the naivety of human beings while at the same time brings these characters to life, which in the end leaves us trembling with emotion. It is a film that transcends common conceptions about war. A masterpiece.


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