IMDb > Happy Times (2000)
Xing fu shi guang
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Happy Times (2000) More at IMDbPro »Xing fu shi guang (original title)

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Happy Times -- Open-ended Trailer from Sony Pictures Classics


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Yan Mo (novel)
Gai Zi
View company contact information for Happy Times on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 December 2000 (China) See more »
Zhao is an aging bachelor who hasn't been lucky in love. Thinking he has finally met the woman of his dreams... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Touching, Well-Acted, Working Class Urban China with Haagen Daz See more (41 total) »


  (in credits order)

Benshan Zhao ... Zhao

Jie Dong ... Wu Ying
Lifan Dong ... Stepmother
Biao Fu ... Little Fu

Xuejian Li ... Li
Qibin Leng ... Wu Ying's Stepbrother
Ben Niu ... Old Niu
Jinghua Gong ... Aunty Liu
Hongjie Zhang ... Lao Zhang
Bingkun Zhao ... Lao Bai
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Honglei Sun ... Customer at 'Happy Times'

Directed by
Yimou Zhang 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Yan Mo  novel "Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh"
Gai Zi 

Produced by
Yu Chen .... associate producer
Xiaofeng Hu .... supervising producer
Wenhua Ma .... line producer
Terrence Malick .... executive producer
Erin O'Rourke .... co-producer (International)
Edward R. Pressman .... executive producer (International)
Lizhong Qiao .... associate producer
Wang Wei .... executive producer (International)
Qinglong Yang .... producer
Yuxi Yu .... associate producer
Weiping Zhang .... producer
Zhenyan Zhang .... supervising producer
Yu Zhao .... producer
Ping Zhou .... executive producer
Original Music by
Bao San 
Cinematography by
Yong Hou 
Film Editing by
Ru Zhai 
Art Direction by
Juiping Cao 
Set Decoration by
Ying Ma 
Costume Design by
Huamiao Tong 
Makeup Department
Bin Yuan .... makeup artist
Production Management
Xiaofeng Hu .... production manager
Zhenyan Zhang .... production manager
Gregory G. Woertz .... executive in charge of production (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Guonan Liu .... assistant director
Dong Xie .... assistant director
Wei Zhou .... assistant director
Art Department
Zhongquan Hu .... property master
Xin Ming Huang .... assistant art director
Luyi Liu .... assistant art director
Sound Department
Qing Li .... dialog editor
Qian Lin .... dialog editor
Yin Miao .... dialog editor
Dong Wang .... dialog editor
Bo Wen .... sound mixer
Lala Wu .... sound
Zhigang Zhang .... sound mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Xiaoyan Bai .... still photographer
Ting Fei .... assistant gaffer
Tianhui Ge .... key grip
Zhaohong Gu .... grip
Zhong Hu .... key grip
Wenrui Jia .... grip
Dongsheng Jiang .... assistant gaffer
Xiaotian Kang .... gaffer
Jiami Liu .... assistant camera
Min Wang .... camera operator
Fusen Xu .... assistant camera
Xiaoshun Xu .... grip
Chuncheng Zhao .... assistant camera
Xianhai Zheng .... assistant gaffer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Xiaoxia Zhao .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Yanjuan Liu .... assistant editor
Wenjun Zhang .... assistant editor
Other crew
Li Guang .... script supervisor
Zhihua Hou .... assistant to director
Guang Li .... script supervisor
Mingna Liu .... finance
Brendan MacDevette .... office production assistant
Wei Xiao .... finance
Zhi Xiao .... assistant to director

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Xing fu shi guang" - China (original title)
"Happy Time" - International (English title)
See more »
102 min | China:95 min
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Has two endings. The first, a shorter one, is not well received in its China screenings. Zhang Yimou subsequently shot a longer ending after its China release for international distribution.See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Touching, Well-Acted, Working Class Urban China with Haagen Daz, 7 August 2002

No longer partnered, artistically or domestically, with the stunning Gong Li, director Zhang Yimou has probably redeemed himself with Party satraps through his engaging serio-comic "Happy Days." (He's been in and out of hot water with past films.) Destined to reach a miniscule audience in theaters, this touching film ought to be widely viewed when released for sale or rental.

Set in an unnamed Chinese city (definitely not Beijing), the story revolves around retired factory worker Zhau, just over fifty, and a blind teenager, Wu Ying, stepdaughter of the corpulent and avaricious woman the impecunious Zhau seeks as a wife. Wu Ying, blind since early childhood from a tumor, has to deal not only with her witch of a stepmom (dad fled from her and is supposedly in a far off city working to send money to bring his daughter to him) but with her stepbrother, a bulbous slobus amoebus training to match his mother's nastiness.

Zhau has a covey of good friends. His first get rich scheme, hatched up with his closest friend, is to "restore" a derelict bus in a park to its pristine state so it can be rented for quick, hot sheet assignations ("Happy Times Hotel"). Americans will find the Chinese take on non-marital, catch-as-catch-can sex naive but it reflects tension balanced by humor in a country where the citified young seek freedoms their elders never enjoyed.

The core of the story is Zhau's attempts to take care of Yu Wing after the evil stepmom throws her at Zhau and tells him to get her out of the house and keep her out. With his friends, all equally hovering near or under the poverty line, Zhau sets Yu Wing up as a masseuse in a fake massage parlor in a decrepit abandoned factory, the legitimate kind of parlor, not the type I heard about when an Army officer in severalAsian countries (Yu Wing was trained to give massages).

I won't reveal the lengths Zhau and his gang go to in their effort to sustain Yu Wing and make her happy. Some of their scheming is very funny. The ending reflects, hardly for the first time, Zhang Yimou's skill not only as a top director but also as a talented storyteller.

I've never seen the actor and actress who play the leads before. They simply blend their performances convincingly into a seamless story that says more about the possibilities and rewards of empathy and the joys of caring than it does about modern China. The locales here range from an affluent downtown to a condemned, empty factory. There's hardly any politics. It's sad, though, that a decent, retired factory worker can't spring for a 25 yuan Haagen Daz small cone offered in a shop that could have been imported from Main Street.

Put this one on your to-rent list!!

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