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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7.5/10   3,365 votes »
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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:
Small scale for Zhang Yimou, but still well made 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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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Small scale for Zhang Yimou, but still well made, 27 April 2002
Author: Simon Booth from SF Bay Area

There is no doubt in my mind that Zhang Yimou is one of the world's finest film makers. He manages to straddle the bounds of both art house and commercialism with his catalogue of works that show a beauty and grandeur that often earns the description "painterly", whilst also telling a really good story. Happy Times is something of a departure from works like Raise The Lantern and Shanghai Triad, being a fairly realist comedy.

Happy Times ("Happy Times Hotel" on the print) is about a group of 'retired' (laid off) factory workers who conspire to hoax a young blind girl. Not as callous as it sounds though, as their intentions are relatively good. The main characters are a 50 year old bachelor (Zhao Benshan) and the blind girl herself, played by newcomer Dong Jie. A small crowd of interesting friends and the gargantuan love interest/stepmother of the leads pad out the cast, which mostly plays out in a couple of small locations - two cramped flats, a sprawling abandoned warehouse, and a delapidated bus.

It's very much a character piece, focussing mainly on the relationship that develops between Zhao Benshan and Dong Jie, thrust together under circumstances that neither planned. It's a tender story... a little bit happy, a little bit sad. Bittersweet I guess, but only slightly bitter.

Zhang Yimou forgoes his usual luscious cinematography for quite a naturalistic feel. Apparently he used "hidden cameras" to shoot some of it, but I've no idea what that means (maybe the street scenes?). It's quite a simple piece, a light 95 minutes long, yet still crafted with the dexterity and care that Zhang Yimou always brings to a film. Being a character piece, it is very much dependent on the performances for success - Zhang could coax an oscar winner out of a mannequin, but Dong Jie here is especially good. If I hadn't seen her walking around the theatre unattended, I would certainly have believed she was genuinely blind (this is not an easy thing to act), and her emotional expression is spot on too. You couldn't possibly not care for her character, or that of Zhao Benshan.

The movie might be quite 'slight' in Zhang Yimou's filmography - it's unlikely to win any oscars for him, but it is a nicely made movie that I think everybody can enjoy.

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