7.7/10
1,418
10 user 17 critic

Center Stage (1991)

Ruan Lingyu (original title)
Biopic of 1930's Chinese actress Ruan Ling Yu.

Director:

Writers:

, (as Peggy Chiu)
Reviews
11 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Shen nu (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Street walker by night, devoted mother by day, a woman fights to get her young son an education amid criminal and social injustice in China.

Director: Yonggang Wu
Stars: Lingyu Ruan, Tian Jian, Zhizhi Zhang
Yan zhi kou (1987)
Drama | Fantasy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Fleur is the blue angel in one of Hong Kong's "flower houses" - bordellos and night clubs of the 1930's. A detached and beautiful performer, she falls in love with Twelfth Master Chan, heir... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kwan
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Anita Mui, Alex Man
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The Soong family was a political dynasty in China that reached the highest levels of power. This film follows the lives of the three Soong daughters, who were educated in America and ... See full summary »

Director: Mabel Cheung
Stars: Maggie Cheung, Michelle Yeoh, Vivian Wu
Action | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The all-female Heroic Trio are Tung (Wonder Woman), Chat (Thief Catcher), a mercenary, and Ching (Invisible Woman). Initially, they're on opposing sides - the invisible Ching is kidnapping ... See full summary »

Director: Johnnie To
Stars: Michelle Yeoh, Anita Mui, Maggie Cheung
Lan Yu (2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Beijing, 1988. On the cusp of middle-age, Chen Handong has known little but success all his life. The eldest son of a senior government bureaucrat, he heads a fast-growing trading company ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kwan
Stars: Ye Liu, Jun Hu, Bin Li
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After the Sino-Japanese War, Kwei Dz, one of the family members of Japanese soldiers accepted a Chinese officer's proposal and remained in China. Later they had a daughter named Ann. The ... See full summary »

Director: Ann Hui
Stars: Maggie Cheung, Siu-Kwong Chung, Tan Lang Jachi Tian
Tian mi mi (1996)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two Chinese-mainlanders living in Hong Kong form a close friendship. Over the years this grows into love, but there are obstacles.

Director: Peter Ho-Sun Chan
Stars: Maggie Cheung, Leon Lai, Eric Tsang
Green Snake (1993)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two snake spirits become human and learn about love and suffering. A monk discovers his own weaknesses and finds that morality is not as simple as he had thought.

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Maggie Cheung, Joey Wang, Wenzhuo Zhao
Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A talented lady novelist falls in love with a Chinese traitor working with the Japanese during the WWII.

Director: Ho Yim
Stars: Brigitte Lin, Han Chin, Maggie Cheung
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A lonely housewife finds her monotonous life altered when her childhood sweetheart returns to town.

Director: Mu Fei
Stars: Chaoming Cui, Wei Li, Yu Shi
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A romantic Chinese New Year comedy about the three Shang brothers. Eldest brother Shang Moon is a philandering businessman who treats his hideous yet hard-working wife like dirt. Middle ... See full summary »

Director: Clifton Ko
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Stephen Chow, Raymond Bak-Ming Wong
Comedy | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The movie is set in chaotic 1920's China, when warlords fought each other for power while Sun Yat-Sen's underground movement tried to establish a democratic republic. The movie tells the ... See full summary »

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Brigitte Lin, Sally Yeh, Cherie Chung
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ruan Ling-yu / Herself
... Tang Chi-Shan / Himself
... Tsai Chu-sheng / Himself
... Lily Li / Herself
... Li Min-wei
Li-li Li ... Herself (as Lily Li)
Lawrence Ng ... Chang Ta-Min / Himself
... Lin Chu-Chu
Kelvin Wong ... Nier Erh
San Yip ... Ms Liu
Paul Chang ... Boss of Lianhua
Yanyan Chen ... Herself - Interview
Lingyu Ruan ... Herself (archive footage)
Daisy Tian Dai ... Hsiao-Yu (3 years)
Ta-Nan Huang
Edit

Storyline

Biopic of 1930's Chinese actress Ruan Ling Yu.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 February 1992 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Center Stage  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(director's cut) | (edited) | (restored DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the motion pictures whose production is depicted within this film is "The Goddess." This movie is also in the book "1001 movies you must see before you die" by Steven Jay Schneider, marking only one of a few instances where a movie so listed is mentioned in another movie listed in the book. See more »


Soundtracks

Buried My Heart
Music by Johnny Chen
Lyrics by Daryl Yao
Performed by Tracy Huang
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
beautiful picture of 1930's Chinese movie industry
16 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

I'm a novice at Chinese history, especially in the area of periods of film, and, being American, I'm particularly fascinated by it and comparing it to period pieces set in the 1930's US (a la "Cat's Meow" or "Miller's Crossing"). I was particularly taken with Centre Stage's attention to detail in period dress, music, and movie deal-making among the industry. As opposed to American movies focusing of stars/starlets' merciless climb to the top of the industry, Maggie Cheung plays Ruan as a kind, clever, and talented actress whose versatility and assertiveness helps her move beyond pigeonholing by the industry to play a wide range of parts--revolutionary, new woman, peasant-girl.

One part it seems which has been overlooked in the few reviews I've read is how this image of feminism illustrates China's version of liberation. Cheung plays Ruan as both a feminist in charge of her career, as well as a woman who is in control of her scandalous affair with Lawrence Ng's character. The difference between her and him being that men are understood to have concubines and are forgiven for the indecency, while Maggie's career is ruined (though she never apologizes for it in any way). Traditional roles still trump profession in 1930's China, but the sadness of it all being retold shows a strong Ruan overcoming every possible trap--losing a career over an affair, especially--and maintaining her desires for success.

For Cheung's performance, it never wavered. I was a big fan of hers in "Irma Vep" and she was just a strong in this role playing Ruan. Effortless shifts between emotion ("So, you're showing me your true face," her lover says as she blows smoke in his face obstinately, then switches to a kindly-wife smile--is she practicing her role in the movie, or is that really her?), graceful poise courtesy of the era before slouching was cool, private display of emotion, and elegant role-play as mistress and ex-wife with Tony Leung.

I'd have to know more about the history of Ruan to know if this is an accurate portrayal of her life, but the film-making style of inter-cutting Cheung playing her in the 30's while interviews with Ruan's colleagues from that time as they are interviewed by the director of the movie is a fascinating way to present her history. Is it a bio-pic? Is it a historical fiction? Is it a retrospective? It's all and more.


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial