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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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... René Gallimard
... Song Liling
... Jeanne Gallimard
... Ambassador Toulon
Annabel Leventon ... Frau Baden
Shizuko Hoshi ... Comrade Chin
Richard McMillan ... Embassy Colleague
... Agent Etancelin
... Intelligence Officer #1
Damir Andrei ... Intelligence Officer #2
Antony Parr ... Intelligence Officer #3
Margaret Ma ... Song's Maid
Tristram Jellinek ... Defense Attorney
Philip McGough ... Prosecution Attorney
... 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 October 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

M. Baterflaj  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,499,795
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Antony Parr's final film. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Song Liling: The Oriental woman has always held a certain fascination for you Caucasian men. Is that not true?
Rene Gallimard: Yes, but that fascination is imperialist, or so you tell me.
Song Liling: Yes, it is always imperialist. Sometimes... sometimes it is also mutual.
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User Reviews

A flawed but fascinating film.
14 August 2002 | by See all my reviews

Of all the David Cronenberg movies I have seen 'M. Butterfly' is my least favourite, but that's certainly not to say that it is entirely worthless. Despite some flaws and a few dead spots it is still quite a fascinating film. One of the oddest things about this movie is that despite its general feeling of unbelievability it is based on a true story. Cronenberg adds to this by deliberately casting the rather butch John Lone, rather than a more obviously androgynous actor (ala 'The Crying Game', a movie this is often compared to). This makes the story more confronting and less comfortable, and also one assumes, closer to the actual facts of the case. Jeremy Irons, who was robbed of an Oscar in Cronenberg's previous 'Dead Ringers', is outstanding as usual, Lone (still mainly known for 'The Last Emperor') isn't as good, but still fine, and the supporting cast includes a nice turn from Brit veteran Ian Richardson ('Dark City'). Most Cronenberg fans will probably find this a bit difficult to get into, as the material isn't exactly typical of the director, but it's much better than its bad press makes out. I expected to hate it, and I didn't.


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