8.1/10
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123 user 46 critic

Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

Dà hóng denglong gaogao guà (original title)
A young woman becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, and must learn to live with the strict rules and tensions within the household.

Director:

Yimou Zhang

Writers:

Su Tong (original novel "Wives and Concubines" by), Ni Zhen (scriptwriter)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 24 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Li Gong ... Songlian (as Gong Li)
Saifei He ... Meishan (Third Wife)
Jingwu Ma Jingwu Ma ... The Master
Cuifen Cao Cuifen Cao ... Zhuoyan (Second Wife)
Qi Zhao Qi Zhao ... Housekeeper
Lin Kong Lin Kong ... Yan'er
Shuyuan Jin Shuyuan Jin ... Yuru (First Wife)
Weimin Ding Weimin Ding ... Songlian's Mother (voice)
Zengyin Cao Zengyin Cao ... Old Servant (as Zhengyin Cao)
Zhigang Cui Zhigang Cui ... Dr. Gao (as Zhihgang Cui)
Chu Xiao Chu Xiao ... Feipu
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Storyline

China in the 1920's. After her father's death, nineteen year old Songlian is forced to marry Chen Zuoqian, the lord of a powerful family. Fifty year old Chen has already three wives, each of them living in separate houses within the great castle. The competition between the wives is tough, as their master's attention carries power, status and privilege. Each night Chen must decide with which wife to spend the night and a red lantern is lit in front of the house of his choice. And each wife schemes and plots to make sure it's hers. However, things get out of hand... Written by Mattias Pettersson <seaman@sbbs.se>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

China, 1920. One master, four wives.

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ranked number 93 non-English-speaking film in the critics' poll conducted by the BBC in 2018. See more »

Goofs

Around 01:18:59, there is a lot of smoke in front of the third wife. And there is almost no smoke in front of the second one. See more »

Quotes

Yan'er: Who are you?
Housekeeper: Fourth mistress, please come inside.
Yan'er: [losing her cool] So you're the fourth mistress!
[Yan'er rudely pulls the water bowl away from Songlian and puts clothes in it]
Songlian: Yes! I am the fourth mistress. Bring my suitcase inside please.
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Connections

Referenced in 8 Women (2002) See more »

User Reviews

 
Gong Li
7 March 2002 | by patita-1See all my reviews

Songlian(Gong li) is the fourth wife of the elusive Master.When she arrives in this secluded remote place the other wives pay attention,the film shows the female vanity and a competition to gain the master affection but why? This women seems not to be in love of this man but I was most intrigued by the presence and personality of the young Songlian,she seems not to belong there,we know she is an educated lady who was sold as concubine. Songlian looks very delicate but she proves that she can be strong and even rebel.

The great chinase Director Zhang Yimou did a wonderful job to focused on the beautiful,flawless face of the impressive Gong Li.The film begins when we see her face on the screen and a tear drops slowly.Other poignant scene is when her flute disappears…why she makes too much noise about it?is the only gift she had from her late father.

When the winter arrives and the snow envelops this place it seem more remote and eerie Then a series of tragedies occur and the heroine starts to fade slowly. I think that the ending is so sad but at the same time is like a fairy tale To me.Songlian looks like a ghost walking around,alone without a soul .She represents a tragic past that will always haunt this place.

I'm a big admirer of the actress Gong Li,all her films impressive me in different levels: `Jou Du'; The Story of Qiu Ju; Farewell to my Concubine. Her face and reactions is her treasure, Gong Li is the most beautiful actress I had ever seen, unique,talented and vulnerable. 9/10


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Details

Country:

China | Hong Kong | Taiwan

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

18 December 1991 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Raise the Red Lantern See more »

Filming Locations:

Taiyuan, Shanxi, China

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,554, 15 March 1992

Gross USA:

$2,603,061

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,603,061
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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