Long Live the Wife, a lively and well-acted comedy, is celebrated fiction writer Eileen Chang's second script. Following immediately from Love without End (1947), it proved to be another ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Chaoming Ciu ...
Fe Han ...
Shen Sirui
Fei Han
Rianliu Jiang ...
Chen Sizhen
Tianliu Jiang
Zhen Lin ...
Chen's Mother
Shan Lu ...
Mother-in-Law
Yunzhu Shangguan ...
Shi Mimi
Hui Shi
Hui Shi ...
Chen's Father
Yi Sun ...
Maid Zhang
Yi Wang ...
Tang Zhiqin
Su Yi
Wang Yi
Fa Zhang ...
Tang Zhiyuan
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Storyline

Long Live the Wife, a lively and well-acted comedy, is celebrated fiction writer Eileen Chang's second script. Following immediately from Love without End (1947), it proved to be another financially successful collaboration with director Sang Hu for Wenhua Film Studio. The film is centred on the figure of Chen Sizhen (Jiang Tianliu) whose marriage to Tang Zhiyuan (Zhang Fa), an ambitious bank clerk and a typical Shanghai xiao shi min (petty urbanite), is dull. Their relationship is unromantic and she fails to bear him a son. Nonetheless she tries to be a good housewife. Their universe spins into turmoil when Tang starts an affair with a glamorous woman, Zhu Mimi (Shangguan Yunzhu), who cares for nothing but his money. A crisis ensues. Long Live the Wife reveals the impending collapse of patriarchal authority and women's attempts at extricating themselves from this social predicament. Chang's screenplay also radically underlines the ambiguity of moral choices. Written by Anonymous

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Comedy | Romance

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1947 (China)  »

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Nice society study
30 June 2008 | by (Konstanz, Germany) – See all my reviews

Soap opera avant-la-lettre? Hmm.. Lifestyles of the (lesser) Rich and Famous? In a way.. Half-way screwball comedy? I don't find a perfectly fitting label for this quite entertaining film.

It's about two families in Shanghai after 1945, but (of course) before "liberation" in 1949, presided by father in one, and mother in the other, cross-joined by one married couple, while their siblings plan to marry too.

So we get shown quite some views of bourgeois life - lying, cheating, adultering, embezzling, founding a company and bankrupting it, divorce, etc. The dialogs are sometimes vitriolic, yet fun for their outspokenness. I liked the scene best when the cheated wife settles accounts with the mistress - that exposed a strong acting energy.

In general, an enjoyable society study from a short pre-"liberation" peace period, which ends like a romantic comedy. Not much action, but fun because of the dialogs. 7/10.


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