6.8/10
8,565
53 user 31 critic

M. Butterfly (1993)

In 1960s China, French diplomat Rene Gallimard falls in love with an opera singer, Song Liling - but Song is not at all who Gallimard thinks.

Director:

David Cronenberg

Writers:

David Henry Hwang (play), David Henry Hwang (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irons ... René Gallimard
John Lone ... Song Liling
Barbara Sukowa ... Jeanne Gallimard
Ian Richardson ... Ambassador Toulon
Annabel Leventon ... Frau Baden
Shizuko Hoshi Shizuko Hoshi ... Comrade Chin
Richard McMillan ... Embassy Colleague
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Agent Etancelin
David Hemblen ... Intelligence Officer #1
Damir Andrei Damir Andrei ... Intelligence Officer #2
Antony Parr Antony Parr ... Intelligence Officer #3
Margaret Ma Margaret Ma ... Song's Maid
Tristram Jellinek Tristram Jellinek ... Defense Attorney
Philip McGough Philip McGough ... Prosecution Attorney
David Neal ... Judge
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Storyline

During the Cultural Revolution in China in the mid-1960s, a French diplomat falls in love with a singer in the Beijing Opera. Interwoven with allusions to the Puccini opera "Madama Butterfly", a story of love and betrayal unfolds. Written by Michael C. Berch <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and a brief bloody sequence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Cronenberg loved the play so much that when he heard a movie was being made about it, he volunteered immediately to direct it. See more »

Goofs

Gallimard keeps referring to the aria "Un bel dì vedremo" as Butterfly's "death scene," but it isn't. This song occurs much earlier in the opera, where Butterfly dreams of her American lover returning. Her actual death scene occurs at the very end, during an aria called "Con onor muore." See more »

Quotes

Song Liling: He was very responsive to my ancient Oriental ways of love, all of which I invented myself, just for him.
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User Reviews

 
Enigmatic Scorcher and FASCINATING!
12 November 2005 | by sagg928See all my reviews

Jeremy Irons and John Lone (who plays the character, Song Liling) should both have gotten academy awards for their performance in this incredibly enigmatic and captivating scorcher of a movie. This is a completely new twist on on the classic opera and may even be more of a believable story because it is so creatively wicked. It has a sexual tension that holds throughout the whole movie and is entirely played out in the mind and sensuously mesmerizing at the same time.

It's an emotionally tortuous journey that Jeremy Irons makes in the name of love (?), and more likely addicted passion. John Lone's performance is exceptional as one who is just as driven and hooked psychologically in his own way as what it is in him that drives him to fulfill Jeremy's ecstasy and descent into irretrievable madness.

Definitely one of the best movies ever! I hope this makes it to DVD sometime soon as it surely deserves to be seen again and again.


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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English | Chinese | French | Italian

Release Date:

1 October 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

M. Butterfly See more »

Filming Locations:

Balassagyarmat, Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$57,280, 3 October 1993

Gross USA:

$1,498,795

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,498,795
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Geffen Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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