6.8/10
8,469
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 »

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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
Learn more

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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

The Chinese opera being performed by Song near the beginning is called "Gui Fei Zui Jiu", aka "The Drunken Concubine", aka "Yang Gui Fei Gets Tipsy". 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: The days I spent with you were the only days I ever truly existed.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 8 ½ Women (1999) See more »

User Reviews

 
Strange and Fascinating Film Inspired by True Events
3 December 2017 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In 1964, in Beijing, the French Ambassaty accountant René Gallimard (Jeremy Irons) goes to a social event without his wife Jeanne Gallimard (Barbara Sukowa) and meets the opera singer Song Liling (John Lone). René becomes attracted to Song and soon he meets her at the local opera house. He falls in love with her and Song becomes his mistress. Meanwhile Ambassador Toulon (Ian Richardson) promotes René to Vice- Consul and he becomes adviser for the French Intelligence. But Song has deep secrets that the naive René does not have any idea and believes is part of the Chinese culture.

"M Butterfly" is a strange and fascinating film inspired by true events that makes it believable. Directed by David Cronemberg, "M Butterfly" is probably one of his best films with an intriguing love story about clash of cultures, having China as background in a troubled revolutionary moment great acting and magnificent cinematography and set decoration. Even when watched more than once, "M Butterfly" is still an attractive gem. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "M Butterfly"


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Details

Country:

USA

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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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