6.2/10
650
9 user 7 critic

Song at Midnight (1937)

Ye ban ge sheng (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Romance | 1937 (China)
China's first horror film, this is loosely based on The Phantom of the Opera. A disfigured musical genius roams a traditional Chinese opera house, punishing those who offend him.

Director:

Weibang Ma-Xu

Writers:

Gaston Leroux (play), Weibang Ma-Xu
Reviews

Photos

Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Menghe Gu Menghe Gu
Ping Hu Ping Hu
Shan Jin Shan Jin
Chau-Shui Yee Chau-Shui Yee
Wenzhu Zhou Wenzhu Zhou
Learn more

More Like This 

The Goddess (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Street walker by night, devoted mother by day, a woman fights to get her young son an education amid criminal and social injustice in China.

Director: Yonggang Wu
Stars: Lingyu Ruan, Tian Jian, Zhizhi Zhang
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A charming scoundrel reflects on his exploits, from childhood through to manhood.

Director: Sacha Guitry
Stars: Sacha Guitry, Adolphe Borchard, Marcel Lucien
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The document of the 1936 Olympics at Berlin.

Director: Leni Riefenstahl
Stars: David Albritton, Arvo Askola, Jack Beresford
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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

Director: Mu Fei
Stars: Chaoming Cui, Wei Li, Yu Shi
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A small village rejoices at the arrival of a new baker. But when his young wife runs off with another man, he is unable to keep baking and the village is thrown into disarray.

Director: Marcel Pagnol
Stars: Raimu, Ginette Leclerc, Fernand Charpin
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A tale of firefighters in London during the Blitz.

Director: Humphrey Jennings
Stars: Philip Dickson, George Gravett, Fred Griffiths
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two neighboring Indian kingdoms are ruled by cousins - King Ranjit and King Sohat. Unbeknownst to Ranjit, Sohat is plotting to seize control of his kingdom.

Director: Franz Osten
Stars: Seeta Devi, Himanshu Rai, Charu Roy
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Victorian-era architect, commissioned by the Duke of Towers to design his stables, falls in love with the Duchess.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, Ann Harding, John Halliday
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Parisian tailor finds himself posing as a baron in order to collect a sizeable bill from an aristocrat, only to fall in love with an aloof young princess.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charles Ruggles
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a run-in with the law, a Mongolian man becomes a fugitive and joins the Russian Civil War.

Director: Vsevolod Pudovkin
Stars: I. Inkizhinov, I. Dedintsev, Valéry Inkijinoff
Las Hurdes (1933)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A surrealistic documentary portrait of the region of Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain where civilisation has barely developed, showing how the local peasants try to survive without even the most basic utilities and skills.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Abel Jacquin, Alexandre O'Neill
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of a century: a decades-long second World War leaves plague and anarchy, then a rational state rebuilds civilization and attempts space travel.

Director: William Cameron Menzies
Stars: Raymond Massey, Edward Chapman, Ralph Richardson
Edit

Storyline

China's first horror film, this is loosely based on The Phantom of the Opera. A disfigured musical genius roams a traditional Chinese opera house, punishing those who offend him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Sun: The fish can also make a wave.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Phantom of the Opera (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

Night on Bald Mountain
Written by Modest Mussorgsky
See more »

User Reviews

 
Artistically a well made movie.
20 June 2008 | by Boba_Fett1138See all my reviews

This is artistically a well made and good looking movie but due to its different techniques and approach being used, that's different from the western way of film-making, this movie is also a hard one to watch in parts.

The first halve of the movie is mostly hard to follow. Basically all you see are people walking around and talking. It's often hard to fully understand what is going on and were the movie and its story is heading to. It however soon becomes obvious that this is a movie that is based on the well known Gaston Leroux novel; The Phantom of the Opera. But no, you can't really regard this movie as a Chinese version of The Phantom of the Opera. It's more a reinterpretation of the novel and it picks some different angles with its story.

This is a fairly unknown and rare early Chinese production and also very little about this film is actually known. It nevertheless is listed at many places as you movie you simply have to see and I can understand why, even though this movie is not completely a successful one really as a movie.

Time has not always been kind to this movie and some of the movie its quality has been lost. The quality and used techniques of this movie makes the movie seem older than it in fact really is. I'm not only talking about the types of camera's being used by also the editing, camera positioning and overall directing style. Also the music and sound often doesn't sound right and seems out of place and as if it got added in a much later stage. movie got made in the '30's, it looks more like it had been made 20 years before that. Asian movies in general often look older than they really are due to its techniques. It's for instance also the reason why most Akira Kurosawa movies look as if they were made in the '30's, while in fact they were made in the '50's. Of course this has changed, since the world now is much smaller.

The second halve of the movie is definitely the best when it mixes its (romantic) drama with horror elements. The movie and its story then soon starts to get truly powerful and the movie becomes an even bigger pleasure to watch.

It was already a pleasure to watch this movie due to its visual look, even though time hadn't been kind on the overall quality of the movie. It using fine, almost at times expressionistic looking sets, which probably had more to do with the budget restrictions of the movie. The movie is artistically more interesting to watch than movie-wise really.

It's acting is obviously over-the-top and also one of the reasons why this movie is more outdated looking and feeling than it's 1937 release date would suggest. The actors obviously weren't movie actors but who can blame them, since in the '30's China there of course really wasn't a movie industry. It also got made in the same year as the second Sino-Japanese war started between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan, though there already had been some fighting going on between those two, years before the actual war started, so no big surprise really that this movie got made with limited resources and both cast & crew involved obviously didn't had much experience yet in the movie business, though director Weibang Ma-Xu on a very regular basis, had been making movies since 1926 on and continued to do so till his early death in 1961.

It's an interesting movie to watch.

8/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

1937 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Yeban geshang See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed