British Universities Film & Video Council

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Yijian Mei

Alternative title
Spray of Plum Blossoms, A
Synopsis
Silent Chinese feature film based on The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Two young men graduate from a Shanghai military academy, and one Hu Luting (Valentine) accepts a posting in Guangzhou, chiding his friend Lede (Proteus) for preferring to stay home and pursue a romance with Huting’s sister Zhuli (Julia) to whom Lede soon becomes engaged. Lede’s father orders him to accept a commission in the same Guangzhou garrison where he finds that his friend Hu Luting has fallen in love with Luohua (Silvia) the daughter of their commanding officer and Lede’s cousin. The symbol of their love is a spray of plum blossoms.
Country
China
Medium
Film
Technical information
Black-and-white / Silent
Year of release
1931
Duration
c100

Credits

Director
BU Wancang
Producer
LUO Mingyou
Cinematographer
HUANG Shaofen
Screenplay
HUANG Yicou
Production Design
ZHAO Fuli
Cast
JIN YanHu Luting (Valentine)
WANG CilongBai Lede (Proteus)
LAM ChohoShi Luohua (Silvia)
RUAN LingyuHu Zhilu (Julia)
CHEN YanyanA Qiao (Lucetta)
GAO ZhanfeiLiao Di’ao (Thurio)
LIU JiquinFatty Liu
SHI JuefeiLi Yi, chief bandit
WANG GuilinGeneral Shi

Additional Details

Production type
Fiction Films
Plays
Two Gentlemen of Verona, The
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

Notes
`Spoken’ in Mandarin with English intertitles.
General
The film had English inter-titles on its original release; the characters have different names in the Chinese and English cast listings and inter-titles. Some scholars have commented that since few foreigners watched the films the English inter-titles were there more to give an air of the West than to serve a practical purpose.
History
The film, issued in 11 reels, premiered July 23 1931 at the Peiping theatre in Shanghai. Released on DVD (all regions) by Cinema Epoch in 2007 with TWO STARS IN THE MILKY WAY, a film with no obvious Shakespeare connection.
Reviews
http://www.chinesemirror.com/index/2007/01/retro_review_yi.html (accessed 3/2008). The review concludes: ‘In spite of some gaping plot holes, Chinese audiences probably found YIJIAN MEI an entertaining diversion, with an excellent cast that included some of the biggest stars of that era. The surviving print varies in quality, and is badly in need of musical accompaniment. It may not have been the best thing its makers ever produced, but then again, neither was Two Gentlemen of Verona’.

Production Company

Name

Lianhua Film Company

Archive

Name

China Film Archive

Phone
86-10 6225 0916
Fax
86-10 6225 9315
Address
No. 3 Wen Hui Yuan Road
Xiao X, Tian
Haidian District
Beijing
China

Online Retailer

Name

amazon.com

Web
http://www.amazon.com External site opens in new window

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