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A City of Sadness (1989)

Beiqíng chéngshì (original title)
A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.

Director:

Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Reviews
8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Wen-ching (as Tony Chiu Wai Leung)
Shu-Fen Hsin Shu-Fen Hsin ... Hinome
Sung Young Chen ... Wen-heung
Jack Kao ... Wen Leung
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wou Yi Fang Wou Yi Fang ... Hinoiei
Ai-Yun Ho Ai-Yun Ho ... Bg Brother Chie
Chien-Ho Huang Chien-Ho Huang
Chien-ru Huang Chien-ru Huang
Tien-Lu Li Tien-Lu Li ... Ah-lu (as Tian-Lu Li)
Ju Lin Ju Lin
Lih-Ching Lin Lih-Ching Lin ... (as Liqing Lin)
Ikuyo Nakamura Ikuyo Nakamura ... Shizuko
Chen-Nan Tsai
Chang-Chiang Yang Chang-Chiang Yang
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Storyline

A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong | Taiwan

Release Date:

21 October 1989 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

A City of Sadness See more »

Filming Locations:

Hokkien, China See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

3-H Films,ERA International See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As revealed in scriptwriter Chu Tien-Wen's book, the original premise of this film is the reunion of an ex-gangster (which Hou Hsiao-Hsien intended to cast Chow Yun-fat for the role) and his former lover (supposedly played by Yang Li-Hua, the top Taiwanese Opera actress in real-life) in 1970s. Hou and Chu then extended the story to involve substantial flashbacks of the calamity of the woman's family in late 1940s (where the woman was the teenage daughter of Chen Song-Yong's character). They then abandoned the former premise and instead focused on the 1940s' story. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Puppetmaster (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The greatest film of "The Greater China" cinema
27 July 2007 | by darii73See all my reviews

Simply one of the best films ever made and certainly the best to have come out of China, Taiwan or Hong Kong. Forget about traumatic Taiwanese history, forget about other "epic" films from mainland China, or Taiwan, or Hong Kong. This one is one of the most profound statements about human condition and the relentless power of history. You can physically feel the winds of history blowing through a small hospital in the mountains, or a house of the person who will succumb to the inevitable, or a railway car caught in the middle of a massacre. Hou Hsiao-Hsien doesn't reconstruct history, he shows you human beings caught unawares and unable to cope with a totally unexpected avalanche of events destined to change their lives. Acting is superb, the mute character played by Tony Leung Chiu Wai (who, quite prosaically, couldn't speak Hokkien and had to be made mute) will haunt you for a very long time. One of the most underrated films from one of the most underrated directors. Spend two and a half hours of your life watching this, it's worth it. 10 out of 10.


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