Down 962 this week

Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)
"Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia" (original title)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 31,560 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 220 user | 188 critic | 32 from

During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 16 Feb 2011
a list of 49 titles
created 09 Mar 2011
a list of 24 titles
created 02 Apr 2012
a list of 27 titles
created 10 Jul 2012
a list of 48 titles
created 11 months ago

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)

Curse of the Golden Flower (2006) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Curse of the Golden Flower.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.

Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A romantic police captain breaks a beautiful member of a rebel group out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau
The Road Home (1999)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Prompted by the death of his father and the grief of his mother, a man recalls the story of how they met in flashback.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Honglei Sun, Hao Zheng
Top Gun (1986)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

As students at the Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young flyer learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, Kelly McGillis
Action | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After more than four hundred years of war between the Shinobi warriors of the Manjidani Koga and Tsubagakure Iga clans, the Lord Hattori Hanzou decrees that they must live in peace. Both ... See full summary »

Director: Ten Shimoyama
Stars: Yukie Nakama, Jô Odagiri, Tomoka Kurotani
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When Robin and his Moorish companion come to England and the tyranny of the Sheriff of Nottingham, he decides to fight back as an outlaw.

Director: Kevin Reynolds
Stars: Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An affair between the second in line to Britain's throne (Franco) and the princess of the feuding Irish (Myles) spells doom for the young lovers.

Director: Kevin Reynolds
Stars: James Franco, Sophia Myles, Rufus Sewell
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers.

Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
Stars: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla
The Reader (2008)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.

Director: Stephen Daldry
Stars: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Connecticut.

Director: Todd Field
Stars: Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson
Up in the Air I (2009)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

With a job that has him traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham leads an empty life out of a suitcase, until his company does the unexpected: ground him.

Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A British medical doctor fights a cholera outbreak in a small Chinese village, while also being trapped at home in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful wife.

Director: John Curran
Stars: Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber


Credited cast:
Dahong Ni ...
Junjie Qin ...
Man Li ...
Jin Chen ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Aaron Shang ...
Prince Liang


China, Later Tang Dynasty, 10th Century. On the eve of the Chong Yang Festival, golden flowers fill the Imperial Palace. The Emperor (Chow Yun Fat) returns unexpectedly with his second son, Prince Jai (Jay Chou). His pretext is to celebrate the holiday with his family, but given the chilled relations between the Emperor and the ailing Empress (Gong Li), this seems disingenuous. For many years, the Empress and Crown Prince Wan (Liu Ye), her stepson, have had an illicit liaison. Feeling trapped, Prince Wan dreams of escaping the palace with his secret love Chan (Li Man), the Imperial Doctor's daughter. Meanwhile, Prince Jai, the faithful son, grows worried over the Empress's health and her obsession with golden chrysanthemums. Could she be headed down an ominous path? The Emperor harbors equally clandestine plans; the Imperial Doctor (Ni Dahong) is the only one privy to his machinations. When the Emperor senses a looming threat, he relocates the doctor's family from the Palace to a ... Written by Sony Pictures Classics

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One King. One Queen. His Power. Her Rebellion. See more »


Action | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia  »

Box Office


$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£362,169 (UK) (13 April 2007)


£797,138 (UK) (20 April 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although sometimes not noticeable, each actor is dressed in 4-5 layers of clothing, sometimes 5-6 layers. Each layer is meticulously embroidered. See more »


When the Empress is dressing for the Chrysanthemum festival. Bobby pins and hair pins are visible in her hair. They were not produced until 1916. Chinese are noted with other decorative adornments to hold their hair in place such as combs and other trinkets seen in the movie. See more »


Emperor Ping: What I do not give, you must never take by force.
See more »


Referenced in Movie Friends - Eine Videothek stellt sich vor (2013) See more »


Curse of the Golden Flower
Written by Jay Chou
Performed by Aaron Shang
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Much that glitters, little that's gold
25 August 2011 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Curse of the Golden Flower is a step up in budget from Zhang Yimou's Hero and House of Flying Daggers, but it's a step back in terms of drama: much that glitters, little that's gold. Set in a palace where everything is a spectacular and highly regimented ritual done on an epic scale, whether it is servants dressing by the hundreds or preparing food and medicine, it focuses on the kind of royal family who make the Plantageneats in The Lion in Winter look like the Waltons. He's poisoning her, she's planning a coup against him and the Crown Prince has gone from an affair with his stepmom to one with his half-sister... Yet for all the poisoning and plotting the problem is that it's rather dull. It never descends into outright boredom, but it doesn't particularly engage for most of the first two thirds.

As usual with Yimou, the moral of the tale is ambiguous: on one level it could be don't go against the natural order, no matter how unfair it seems (father knows best, even if he is poisoning mum), on another it could be know your place no matter how inexplicably cruel you may find the ruling regime. Or it could just be a good old-fashioned tragedy with unhappy endings all round. On a more dramatically successful film maybe the ambiguity wouldn't be so niggling, but with such huge resources thrown at it to such little effect, you feel that it should all add up to SOMETHING.

True, a lot of money has been visibly lavished on the film, but it rarely feels wisely spent. That the corridors of the palace look like they've been designed by a Bombay stallholder with unlimited funds, more garish than opulent, make many of the interiors look more a monument to bad taste than a glittering façade to hide the corruption within. The wonderfully conceived use of colour and design of Hero and House of Flying Daggers here gives way to visual overkill. Forget the golden flower, this definitely suffers from the curse of too much CGi in the final battle as the addition of an increasingly unfeasible number of perfectly synchronized digital extras completely swamp the human element the scene needs to succeed. When the CGi golden army attacks the palace it doesn't really impress as much as it should - the CGi is good enough, but it's also too controlled and uniform, lacking the feeling of spontaneity you get with real extras. Maybe it's just that the look is so overexposed that digital extras seem too much of a cheat to impress the way that going to all the trouble of using the real thing did. After all, when so much is done in the computer, what physical human effort is left to admire? Nor does the individual fight choreography impress as much as in Yimou's previous films. There is even some surprisingly clumsy editing of mismatched shots in the 'smaller' scenes that make you wonder whether Yimou wants to draw attention to them or simply doesn't care enough to finesse them. Perhaps it's telling that the film's most visually effective moment is the massive co-ordinated cleanup operation after the battle as the bodies are dragged away and the palace is quickly restored to normality and that only the film's final scene has the kind of real emotional power that the rest of the film could have done with.

It seems oddly significant that despite the epic scale, only 8 of the cast are credited while the crew, designers, costumers and computer technicians are billed at great length: people really don't seem to be the film's priority. That's sadly reflected in some of the performances. Perhaps it's because the once prolific Chow Yun Fat has worked so little this century that it's genuinely surprising to see how much he's visibly aged as the Emperor. While this is used to some effect, we rarely see why he does what he does, which tends to render him more of a shallow villain when the circumstances really merit. It's certainly hard to see him as the wronged party when his revenge is so ruthless and calculated. But sadly most of the performances are decidedly one-note while the cast wait for their big scenes, with only the female cast making much impression (the film is good on the submissive role women were forced to accept). Yet as good as Jin Chen is as the Emperor's wronged first wife, it's Gong Li who really impresses, and how. As the Empress trying to hold onto her sanity long enough to depose her husband before his poisoned medicine turns her into a living ghost she's remarkably powerful without ever overstating: it's the small details rather than the grand gestures that really count with her. Unfortunately as her stepson and lover, Ye Liu overacts the sensitive angst almost enough to make Nicholas Tse look subtle, yet somehow in their scenes together Gong Li still manages to keep them from sliding away into pure melodrama. Sadly, her efforts are never quite enough to make up for the film's shortcomings.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why poison the Empress? Java_Johnny
This was such a horrible movie... ffsepheroth
LMAO @ english dub Kurikong08
Gong Li's beauty............. ! Geminitrace
Curse of the Golden Flower is a wasteful movie reiyi
Worst Martial Arts/Chinese Film I've Ever Seen rowdiegal40
Discuss Curse of the Golden Flower (2006) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: