6.8/10
7,695
47 user 33 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)

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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 Annabel Leventon ... Frau Baden
Shizuko Hoshi Shizuko Hoshi ... Comrade Chin
Richard McMillan 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
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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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

M. Baterflaj See more »

Filming Locations:

Balassagyarmat, Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,499,795
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Cronenberg loved the play so much that when he heard a movie was being made about it, he volunteered immediately to direct it. See more »

Goofs

The word accordion is misspelled "accordian" in the closing credits. See more »

Quotes

Drunk in Paris bar: [Hearing pro-Communist students parading outside] God damn it! Must be those fucking students again! Talk about China? I'll be you if go out that door you'll think you're back in Beijing! Every damn leftist student in Paris has Mao's little red book in his hand, and a red firecracker up his ass!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lolita (1997) See more »

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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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