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Devils on the Doorstep (2000)

Guizi lai le (original title)
During the Japanese occupation of China, two prisoners are dumped in a peasant's home in a small town. The owner is bullied into keeping the prisoners until the next New Year, at which time... See full summary »


Wen Jiang


Wen Jiang (screenplay), Wen Jiang (story) | 7 more credits »
8 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Wen Jiang ... Ma Dasan
Hongbo Jiang ... Yu'er
Teruyuki Kagawa ... Kosaburo Hanaya
Ding Yuan Ding Yuan ... Dong Hanchen
Zhijun Cong Zhijun Cong ... Grandfather
Zi Xi Zi Xi ... Liu Wang
Haibin Li Haibin Li ... Me
Kenya Sawada ... Inokichi Sakatsuka
Weidong Cai Weidong Cai ... Er Bozi
Lianmei Chen Lianmei Chen ... Aunt
Yoshimoto Miyaji Yoshimoto Miyaji ... Koji Nonomura
Qiang Chen Qiang Chen ... 'One-Stroke' Liu the executioner
David Wu ... Major Gao
Shu Chen Shu Chen ... Qiye
Jianquan Shi Jianquan Shi ... Brother-in-law


During the Japanese occupation of China, two prisoners are dumped in a peasant's home in a small town. The owner is bullied into keeping the prisoners until the next New Year, at which time they will be collected. The village leaders convene to interrogate the prisoners. The townspeople then struggle to accommodate the prisoners. One is a bellicose Japanese nationalist, the other a nervous translator. Will the townspeople manage to keep the prisoners until the New Year? Written by Ken Miller <wkmiller704@yahoo.com>

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Comedy | Drama | War


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Did You Know?


David Wu's character Major Gao in his first entrance to the compound ordered at the Japanese army peddler to move his belongings away in Cantonese, then in Mandarin. See more »


When the jeep brakes to avoid running over the record player, the sound is tires locking up on pavement. However, they are on a dirt road. See more »

User Reviews

A Bright, Shining example of Chinese cinema.
12 November 2007 | by danc1987See all my reviews

There is no question that the Japanese occupation of mainland China during WWII was marked by unimaginable cruelty and actions so barbaric that any sane human being would shudder at the description of them. This is all obvious to anyone who has had an unbiased, detailed education of that dreadful time period. On the surface, Jiang Wen's film touches on these acts to illuminate what it must have been like for the Chinese to cope with the Japanese "devils". But a thorough viewing of the film reveals so many more questions not just about the Chinese and Japanese but about the universal relationship between war and humans. Wen directs this film in a peculiar way. He uses comedy that forces us to laugh at things that we shouldn't. You find yourself smirking or smiling in moments until you catch yourself and remember that the whole scene in which you were laughing at was where character's lives were at stake. Most people will read this and not see what is so masterful about this approach. What makes Wen's quirkiness work is that it illuminates the naivety of human beings while at the same time brings these characters to life, which in the end leaves us trembling with emotion. It is a film that transcends common conceptions about war. A masterpiece.

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Mandarin | Japanese | English | French

Release Date:

14 March 2001 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Devils on the Doorstep See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,227, 22 December 2002

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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