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Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)

Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia (original title)
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During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.

Director:

Yimou Zhang

Writers:

Zhihong Bian (as Zhi-Hong Bian), Yu Cao (play) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yun-Fat Chow ... Emperor Ping
Li Gong ... Empress Phoenix
Jay Chou ... Prince Jai
Ye Liu ... Crown Prince Wan
Dahong Ni ... Jiang / Imperial Physician
Junjie Qin ... Yu / Prince
Man Li ... Jiang Chan
Jin Chen ... Mrs. Jiang
Aaron C. Shang Aaron C. Shang ... Liang / Prince (as Aaron Shang)
Liam O'Brien ... Prince Jai (voice)
Yuri Lowenthal ... Prince Yu (voice)
Siran Ge Siran Ge ... Maid
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lisen Ai Lisen Ai ... Performer
Xiaoyi Chen ... Performer
Xinhua Chen Xinhua Chen ... Performer
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Storyline

China, Later Tang Dynasty, 10th Century. On the eve of the Chong Yang Festival, golden flowers fill the Imperial Palace. The Emperor (Chow Yun Fat) returns unexpectedly with his second son, Prince Jai (Jay Chou). His pretext is to celebrate the holiday with his family, but given the chilled relations between the Emperor and the ailing Empress (Gong Li), this seems disingenuous. For many years, the Empress and Crown Prince Wan (Liu Ye), her stepson, have had an illicit liaison. Feeling trapped, Prince Wan dreams of escaping the palace with his secret love Chan (Li Man), the Imperial Doctor's daughter. Meanwhile, Prince Jai, the faithful son, grows worried over the Empress's health and her obsession with golden chrysanthemums. Could she be headed down an ominous path? The Emperor harbors equally clandestine plans; the Imperial Doctor (Ni Dahong) is the only one privy to his machinations. When the Emperor senses a looming threat, he relocates the doctor's family from the Palace to a ... Written by Sony Pictures Classics

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Queen's revenge will threaten an empire. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

12 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City of Golden Armor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

HKD 11,044,960 (Hong Kong), 27 December 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$711,336, 25 December 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,566,773

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$78,568,977
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film reunion of Yimou Zhang and Li Gong, who did not work together for 11 years after their professional and personal break-up during Shanghai Triad (1995). See more »

Goofs

When the Empress is dressing for the Chrysanthemum festival. Bobby pins and hair pins are visible in her hair. They were not produced until 1916. Chinese are noted with other decorative adornments to hold their hair in place such as combs and other trinkets seen in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Emperor Ping: It has been 25 years. I thought that I would never see you again.
[attempts to touch Mrs. Jiang's face]
Mrs. Jiang: [knocks the Emperor's hand away]
Emperor Ping: [grabs Mrs. Jiang] And you married the Imperial Doctor!
Mrs. Jiang: [slaps the Emperor roughly] At the time, you were only a lowly captain plotting day and night to become Emperor. You flattered the King of Liang into letting you marry his daughter. You planned meticulously to have my entire family put in prison. Later, I alone managed to escape. Far from home, I almost died....
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK version had to have 4 seconds removed from it to remove illegal horse falls that contravened that country's Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Movie Friends - Eine Videothek stellt sich vor (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Curse of the Golden Flower
Written by Jay Chou
Performed by Adam S. Shen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Just so beautiful to even look at...
26 December 2006 | by petepSee all my reviews

Zhang Yimou was a very highly regarded filmmaker 5 years ago, before I had ever heard of him. Then he earned a place in my heart by directing both Hero and House of Flying Daggers. With those last two I felt like I was in martial arts movie heaven, so I would instantly be interested in any other future films that could approach those two in scope, talent, and action. Curse of the Golden Flower focuses mostly on the first two of those three traits, but besides, anything starring Chow Yun-Fat will earn my attention like a bullet to the head. I do own The Corrupter after all.

This is a film about a royal family, rather dysfunctional at that, in the 928 AD Tang Dynasty. Chow Yun-Fat is Emperor Ping, who from the way he handles his family and can anticipate any kind of attack or counterattack seems like quite the ruthless warlord. He has three sons: one is a teenager, who isn't given much regard but knows more than others think. The eldest of the three is the current crown prince, but doesn't seem to have any special talents, other than drawing the affections of the wrong women. The middle son is a great warrior and, of course, is now the favorite of the father. But these characters may be just pawns to Empress Phoenix (Gong Li), who is mother to the younger two brothers and step-mother to the eldest. Under normal circumstances she might be a great mother, wife, and Empress, but current circumstances, including a mystery illness, have forced her to take actions involving a secret plot to remove her husband from the throne.

This is not the action movie some might expect, though there is enough near the end to earn the R rating. It's basically a family drama, though in a rather fascinating and different setting for such a story. As you'd expect with a royal family, appearances are everything. Anything out of the ordinary has to happen in secret. All the normal everyday stuff is almost mechanical in nature. Whether you see dozens of servants getting up in the morning, or preparing food, or planting flowers, it all occurs in such a fiercely coordinated fashion. It would have been such a hard life, either being a royal or supporting one, but it would be a miserable life if one couldn't take any pride in what they did.

The filmmakers who designed and implemented all the sets and costumes should take a hell of a lot of pride in what they do. The family of this story, even while destroying themselves (and therefore their empire) from within, are living in the most lavish accommodations and outfits I've ever seen. I usually don't think much of costuming or set design, but I must say that after seeing Chow Yun-Fat's golden suit of armor, or anything Gong Li was in, or the design of their personal quarters, I really hope for some Oscar recognition. Perhaps the best I've ever seen in those areas.

Overall though, a good film, and a definite must for any Chow Yun-Fat fan to seem him play such a great villain, as with Sammo Hung in Sha Po Lang. It kept me interested throughout, but nothing too surprising happened in regards to story. It basically all went how I imagined it would.


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