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


Mu Fei


Tianji Li
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Chaoming Cui Chaoming Cui ... Lao Huang
Wei Li Wei Li ... Zhang Zhichen
Yu Shi Yu Shi ... Dai Liyan
Wei Wei ... Zhou Yuwen
Hongmei Zhang ... Meimei


Following WWII and with China brought to it's knees by the actions of the Japanese, prior to the rise of the Communists, led by Chairman Mao. This is the time during which Fei Mu's film takes place. Wei Wei plays a woman who lives a lonely life, shackled by her care for her gentle, but ill husband (Shi Yu)- that is until her first love reappears into her life. This is Fei's penultimate film as director, but is still enjoyed by many today as one of his best works. It has now been a firm favorite of many since it was restored in the 80's by the China Film Archive and some rate it as one of the greatest Chinese movies in history. Written by Toby Elliot

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

childhood | See All (1) »


Drama | Romance


See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Ranked number 63 non-English-speaking film in the critics' poll conducted by the BBC in 2018. See more »


Featured in Projections (2015) See more »

User Reviews

Nostalgia and Sondering
19 November 2015 | by rdinisloboSee all my reviews

If you are looking for a slice of life movie, look no further. A word of caution, however: this movie is a story, and a child of its time. There is no spectacular camera work, no epic soundtrack (or sound at all, for the most part), and certainly no special effects. Even the acting and dialogues are passable, at best. If you need any of these things to be immersed or even enjoy a movie, Spring in a Small Town is not for you.

There are four characters in the movie (and I mean four, there are no other supporting cast members or extras). The first two we are introduced are a couple, and they are "content". This is he best word to describe their situation, for they are not happy nor sad. You quickly realize that they have been frozen in time for years.

The conflict is created when an old friend (of both) comes back to town. This establishes the classic love triangle: the old friend has feelings for the wife, and she is torn between her own feelings towards him (or what she believes them to be) and those towards her husband.

There is little more to say about this movie without spoiling, except reiterate that this is a Chinese movie from the 40's. This is very much removed from the "factory assembled" plot lines that have plagued movies/books/video games/series for a long time.

If you were keeping track, the fourth character is the couple's caretaker, and he is a supporting character.

In the end, i still walk away with a lesson: no matter how much we think our life will stay the same, things will always happen. Whether they create change or not, is up to us.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 19 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

1948 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Spring in a Small Town See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wenhua Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed