7.6/10
2,978
56 user 33 critic

The King of Masks (1996)

Bian Lian (original title)
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Wang Bianlian is an aging street performer known as the King of Mask for his mastery of Sichuan Change Art in a true story. His wife left him with and infant son over 30 years ago. The son ... See full summary »

Director:

Tian-Ming Wu

Writers:

Wengui Chen (story), Minglun Wei (screenplay)
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23 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Li Chen Li Chen ... Ms Wen
Zhaoji Jia Zhaoji Jia ... Slave trader
Zhigang Zhang Zhigang Zhang ... Sulan, Luo
Zhigang Zhao Zhigang Zhao ... Liang Sao Lang
Renying Zhou Renying Zhou ... Gou Wa ("Doggie")
Xu Zhu ... Bianlian Wang
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Storyline

Wang Bianlian is an aging street performer known as the King of Mask for his mastery of Sichuan Change Art in a true story. His wife left him with and infant son over 30 years ago. The son died from illness at age 10. This left Wang a melancholy loner aching for a male descendent to learn his rare and dying art. A famous master performer of the Sichuan Opera offers to bring him into his act, thus giving Wang fame and possible fortune, but Wang opts for staying the simple street performer. Then, one night after a performance he is sold a young boy by a slave trader posing as the boy's parent. "Grandpa" finds new joy in life as he plans to teach "Doggie" (an affectionate term often used for young children in China) his art. All is well until Doggie is found out to really be a girl. Written by Steve Uptegraft <bluzman@voyager.net>

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

16 August 1996 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

King of Masks See more »

Filming Locations:

Shanghai, China

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$394,272, 11 June 1999

Gross USA:

$1,104,619, 27 February 2000
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Shaw Brothers See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Wang (The Mask King) is performing for the soldiers who insist on having his secret, his missing front tooth is there in one scene, then gone in the next. See more »

Alternate Versions

Original Chinese version runs 101 minutes; international Version runs 91 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wildest thing I've ever seen!
19 April 2003 | by pyotr-3See all my reviews

This spectacular film is one of the most amazing movies I have ever seen. It shows a China I had never seen or imagined, and I believe it shows 1930's China in the most REAL light ever seen in a movie. It is absolutely heart-breaking in so many situations, seeing how hard life was for the characters, and yet the story and the ending are incredibly joyful. You truly see the depths and heigths of human existence in this film. The actors are all perfect, such that you feel like you have really entered a different world.

I simply can not recommend this movie highly enough. It may just change you forever once you have seen it.


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