Springtime in a Small Town (2002)
"Xiao cheng zhi chun" (original title)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  11 December 2003 (Netherlands)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,111 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 23 user | 35 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

Liyan and Yuwen live in post-war torpor, childless but with Liyan's school-aged sister. He coughs, imagining he has TB; Yuwan embroiders; they sleep in separate rooms. A surprise visit from... See full summary »



, , 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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
The Blue Kite (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

On Dry Well Lane in Beijing in 1953, Chen Shujuan and Lin Shaolong marry. A year later their son, nicknamed Tietou (Iron Head), is born. The Party is everywhere: Mao's photograph, ... See full summary »

Director: Zhuangzhuang Tian
Stars: Tian Yi, Wenyao Zhang, Xiaoman Chen
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: Kaige Chen
Stars: Xueqi Wang, Bai Xue, Quiang Liu
Street Angel (1937)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Muzhi Yuan
Stars: Dan Zhao, Heling Wei, Xuan Zhou
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of Norbu, a horse thief, who is thrown out of his tribe in an effort to purge it of evil. Norbu repents after the birth of his son, but he is forced to steal again after the birth... See full summary »

Directors: Zhuangzhuang Tian, Peicheng Pan
Stars: Daiba, Jiji Dan, Drashi
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A story of four teenagers during Cultural Revolution in Beijing.

Director: Wen Jiang
Stars: Yu Xia, Xiaogang Feng, Le Geng
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young woman becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, and must learn to live with the strict rules and tensions within the household.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Li Gong, Jingwu Ma, Saifei He
To Live (1994)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After Fugui and Jiazhen lose their personal fortunes, they raise a family and survive difficult cultural changes during 1940s to 1970s China.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: You Ge, Li Gong, Ben Niu
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Schoolteacher Hisako Oishi forms an emotional bond with her pupils and teaches them various virtues, while at the same time worrying about their future.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita
Stars: Hideki Gôko, Itsuo Watanabe, Makoto Miyagawa
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

The disillusioned general of an ancient Chinese army regiment finds himself stranded in a village populated by a strange clan with mystical connections to wolves.

Director: Zhuangzhuang Tian
Stars: Maggie Q, Joe Odagiri, Chung-Hua Tuo
The Go Master (2006)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Chinese man becomes an expert player of the traditional game of Go.

Director: Zhuangzhuang Tian
Stars: Chen Chang, Sylvia Chang, Akira Emoto
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Two sisters find out the existence of their long-lost mother, but the younger cannot take the truth of being abandoned as a child.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Ineko Arima, Chishû Ryû


Cast overview:
Jingfan Hu ...
Jun Wu ...
Dai Liyan
Bai Qing Xin ...
Xiao Keng Ye ...
Lao Huang
Si Si Lu ...
Dai Xiu


Liyan and Yuwen live in post-war torpor, childless but with Liyan's school-aged sister. He coughs, imagining he has TB; Yuwan embroiders; they sleep in separate rooms. A surprise visit from Liyan's boyhood friend Zhang, a big city physician, wakes up the household. To Zhang's amazement, he discovers his friend's wife is his own youthful sweetheart. Possibilities abound: an affair, an arranged marriage of Zhang and Little Sister, now 16, or simply ending ennui and embracing vitality. Can a stifling atmosphere of Chinese Chekhov give way to spring? Alcohol at a birthday party speeds resolution. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic elements | See all certifications »



Release Date:

11 December 2003 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Springtime in a Small Town  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,506 (USA) (14 May 2004)


$42,258 (USA) (18 June 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema) |

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A lack of Chemistry......
30 October 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The movie concerns a tragic emotional triangle between Zhang Zhichen, a successful doctor, who, on returning from Shanghai finds that his long lost sweetheart Yuwen, has married his best friend in his absence. That his best friend, Dai Liyan is a bit of a passionless, malingering whinger (whom, we are given to understand, is somewhat lacking in the trouser department) is, I think, supposed to tip our guilty sympathies toward the unrequited pair. However, there is no lingering eye contact, no haltingly emotional dialogue, no inadvertent contact, in fact no telegraphing of emotion of any kind between the friend and the wife. Yumen recites her lines as if they were a shopping list, and Zhang Zhichen seems to be reading his off the back off his eyelids. This peculiar lack of chemistry between the erstwhile lovers means that for me at least, this movie never gets off the ground. This is a real shame, as it is almost impossible to find fault with the LOOK of this movie. The cinematography is absolutely spot on, establishing shots are just where they need to be, POVs are perfect, the lighting reveals where it should and creates pools of shadow for the actors to move in and out of. Slow pans through densely textured interiors, alternately obscuring and disclosing, give an almost vertiginous sense of solidity and depth to the stage upon which the actors perform. That the actors don't seem to know how to convey the intensity and recklessness of true love upon that stage is the real tragedy of this movie. Two stars for acting, four for set design and cinematography

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Has anyone seen the original? drn5
Just TOOOOOO Long film_ophile
Am I hallucinating more than just a love tangle? chuck-526
Discuss Springtime in a Small Town (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: