An American finds refuge during the 1937 Japanese invasion of Nanking in a church with a group of women. Posing as a priest, he attempts to lead the women to safety.

Director:

Yimou Zhang

Writers:

Heng Liu (screenplay), Geling Yan (novel)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Bale ... John Miller
Ni Ni ... Yu Mo
Xinyi Zhang ... Shu (as Zhang Xinyi)
Tianyuan Huang Tianyuan Huang ... George Chen (as Huang Tianyuan)
Xiting Han Xiting Han ... Yi (as Han Xiting)
Doudou Zhang ... Ling (as Zhang Doudou)
Dawei Tong ... Major Li
Atsuro Watabe ... Colonel Hasegawa
Kefan Cao Kefan Cao ... Mr. Meng (as Cao Kefan)
Yangchunzi Yuan Yangchunzi Yuan ... Mosquito (as Yuan Yangchunzi)
Jia Sun Jia Sun ... Hua (as Sun Jia)
Yuemin Li Yuemin Li ... Dou (as Li Yuemin)
Bai Xue Bai Xue ... Lan
Takashi Yamanaka ... Lieutenant Asakura
Shigeo Kobayashi Shigeo Kobayashi ... Lieutenant Kato
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Storyline

In 1937 China, during the second Sino-Japanese war, a mortician, John (Christian Bale) arrives at a Catholic church in Nanjing to prepare a priest for burial. Upon arrival he finds himself the lone adult among a group of convent girl students and prostitutes from a nearby brothel. When he finds himself in the unwanted position of protector of both groups from the horrors of the invading Japanese army, he discovers the meaning of sacrifice and honor. Written by msmith5484

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence including a sexual assault, disturbing images, and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is banned in Japan. See more »

Quotes

Yu Mo: Maybe with your help, I can save them.
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Connections

Spin-off Fourty Nine Days·Fiesta (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

O Maria Vernans Rosa
Composed by Jacob Clemens Non Papa (1510- 1555) [aka Jacobus Clemens non Papa]
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User Reviews

 
Don't miss. This deserves your attention.
21 December 2011 | by msmith5484See all my reviews

Zhang Yimou has crafted a beautifully shot and compelling story set inside horrific events. About all I knew of this movie was it was set in 1937 China and starred Christian Bale. Not knowing much allowed me to be completely open to the journey of the characters. This is an emotionally powerful story about people caught in circumstances for which there seems no hope of survival. The Japanese soldiers are shown as barbaric, but we do meet an officer who attempts to remain honorable though he must do his duty to his superiors. The violence in the movie is brutal, but not graphic or gratuitous. The choices and sacrifices made by the characters never seemed contrived. The arc of Christian Bale's character may seem 'predictable', but it is never false or 'convenient' to the story. All actors are excellent. Because they're foreign to me I had no idea who they are or their other work. At the screening I attended we were introduced to Ni Ni, who said this was her first film. She is both beautiful and compelling. I wish her a long career. Yimou, through his daughter, told us about his journey to make this movie - based on a novel, based on real events. He has told an amazing story that will stay with me for a long time.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Release Date:

16 December 2011 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

13 Flowers of Nanjing See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$94,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$48,448, 22 January 2012

Gross USA:

$311,434

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,855,644
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby (Dolby Surround 7.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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