6.9/10
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13 user 8 critic

Thousand Pieces of Gold (1990)

PG-13 | | Romance, Western | 1 November 1991 (USA)
In 1880s China, a girl is sold into marriage by her father. Rather than becoming a bride, Lalu ends up in a gold-mining town where she forges a path for her own freedom and, ultimately, true love.

Director:

Nancy Kelly

Writers:

Ruthanne Lum McCunn (novel), Anne Makepeace (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rosalind Chao ... Lalu / Polly
Chris Cooper ... Charlie Bemis
Michael Paul Chan ... Hong King
Dennis Dun ... Jim
Jimmie F. Skaggs ... Jonas
Will Oldham ... Miles
David Hayward ... Ohio
Beth Broderick ... Berthe
Kim Chan ... Li Ping
Chris Evans Chris Evans ... Sailor #2
Weili Fan Weili Fan ... Sayan
Evan C. Kim ... Shun Lee
Freda Foh Shen ... Ah Ling
John M. Hosking John M. Hosking ... Watkins
Mary Matvy Mary Matvy ... Françoise
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Storyline

In 1880's China, young Lalu is sold into marriage by her impoverished father. Rather than becoming a bride, Lalu ends up in an Idaho gold-mining town, the property of a saloon owner who renames her China Polly and plans to sell her as entertainment for the locals. Refusing to become a whore, Lalu ultimately finds her own way in this strange country filled with white demons. Written by Kelley O.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A testament to the strength of the human spirit

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

PG-13
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At approximately 39 minutes 50 seconds into the film you can see the obvious boom mike dropping down into the frame overhead. See more »

Connections

Featured in Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (1997) See more »

User Reviews

 
A Golden Piece of Drama
7 August 2002 | by Prof_LostiswitzSee all my reviews

A gorgeous and very intelligent movie. Highly unusual to make a western from the Chinese point of view, also to make one from the woman's point of view.

These people do it without sentimentality; there's never a false note in it. Lalu has three strikes against her: an ethnic Mongol in China, a woman in a male culture, a Chinese in America. Yet she can draw on her warrior traditions forb a sense of pride inaccessible to most of her compatriots.

The relationships she gets into seem totally real; at the same time, there is no attempt to cover up the ugly reality of white racism (not that the Chinese men are much better than the Americans).

This is how the old west must have been, and this movie gives us an honest and dramatic portrayal. It deserves to be much better known.


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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Playhouse: Thousand Pieces of Gold See more »

Filming Locations:

Butte, Montana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,553, 28 April 1991

Gross USA:

$717,772

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$717,772
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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