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Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD]

Yimou Zhang    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: 4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD] + Farewell My Concubine  [All Region] [import] + Balzac & The Little Chinese Seamstress [DVD] [2003]
Price For All Three: 26.64

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Product details

  • Directors: Yimou Zhang
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Drakes Avenue Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Jan 2009
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,547 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

RED SORGHUM marked the directorial debut of internationally acclaimed director Zhang Yimou and the acting debut of Gong Li. With its lush and lusty portrayal of peasant life, it is now considered a modern classic of Chinese cinema.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: Chinese ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: At the height of China's Warring States period, the country was divided into seven kingdoms: Qin, Zhao, Han Wei, Yan, Chu and Qi. For years, the separate kingdoms fought ruthlessly for supremacy. As a result, the populace endureddecades of death and suffering. The Kingdom of Qin was the most determined of all. The Qin King was obsessedwith conquering all of China and becoming her first Emperor. He had long been the target of assassins throughout the other six states. Of all the would-be killers, none inspired as much fear as the three legendary assassins, Broken Sword, Snow and Sky.To anyone who defeated the three assassins, the King of Qin promised great power, mountains of gold and a private audience with the King himself. But defeating the killers is a near impossible task. For ten years no one came close toclaiming the prize--that is until Nameless, a solitary ranger with a mysterious past, steps out of the shadows looking for a showdown. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Berlin International Film Festival, ...Red Sorghum ( Hong gao liang ) ( Het Rode korenveld )

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dreadful dvd - welcome back to 1988! 19 Jan 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I can't say how pleased I was when I saw that Red Sorghum was to be released on UK dvd. At last a modern edition to replace the ancient Palace video from the late 80's. Sadly however this disc is pathetic, a disgrace - it is essentially the same old Palace version (taken I believe from an old Channel 4 broadcast) slung onto disc with no care taken as to quality control and with a picture as grainy as that implies. This also means for your money you get a film incorrectly letterboxed at about 16/9 but with the frame moved up towards the top of the screen and with burned on subs underneath. In other words if you have a widescreen TV you cannot expand the picture and have to watch the film in 4/3!
(There is a Chinese edition available which at least is letterboxed properly but unfortunately fails to subtitle the songs - which are very important dramatically - and also, at least the copy I have, is of poor picture quality.)
If the company who released this could not afford to do the film justice then they really shoudn't have bothered - or maybe they don't care and just wanted to cash in on the maker of 'Hero' and 'House of Flying Daggers.'
Sadly the wait for a proper release of this superb film goes on...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving 18 July 2011
A tale of violence, love, comradeship, and the horrors of war, this film is really strange to the eye and yet affecting and lingers in the mind long after. I first saw it on release in an art cinema and was knocked out. Now 24 years later it is still a great film for me and so I recommend it. But not for the faint hearted or if you like something that fits in a known box. The story follows the fortunes of a young girl sold to an ageing wine maker who suffers from VD. Her wedding procession is hilarious and sets the scene for the thread of love that weaves through the film and holds it together. Naively told yet it handles complex and difficult subjects.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one that made Zhang 31 Oct 2003
Format:VHS Tape
As I see it, this film is the epitome of Zhang's film language: simplicity in story-telling, simplicity in dialogue, non-extravegance in characters, use of local music, enhanced by landscape, a blend of realism and high-romanticism, all forwarding a sense of profound human emotions.
I must have been no older than eleven when I first saw this film, and the song the hero sings in the sorghum field still lingers on in my mind.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Requiem for a way of life 18 Feb 2009
For a long time, we have very little idea of when this film is set. A narrator talks about his grandmother and father, but we can't be sure whether this places him in the present, as the story-teller telling us. What we are watching is timeless, a folk-tale of the bride Jiu'er (Gong Li in her debut role) married against her will to an old man by parents who are more keen on getting a donkey (the bride-price) than keeping their daughter. She is carried on a sedan-chair across endless swaying pampas, bright red against the green. And so it goes on; the ancient ways of making wine from the red sorghum - a kind of sugar-cane - the ritual thanks to the wine god. A tight little community of men held together by the feisty young woman who comes to be their Mistress, but who insists they are all equal, and takes the name Little Nine. It seems like a way of life which has lasted forever, and it comes as a real shock when, about three-quarters of the way into the movie, we see a lorry for the first time, the Japanese invading the Chinese mainland in 1937. In the savage reprisals which follow, Jiu'er is killed and most of the wine-makers, and the way of life is gone forever.

The film works on many levels. On one level it's the story of a young woman who has to learn to grow up, fast, and a celebration of female independence and survival in a very traditional society. On another it's a lament for a lost generation and way of life. It's both political and personal. It is impeccably shot, and the ending, during an eclipse of the sun which is also an eclipse of everything we have seen, is heartbreaking.

If I don't give it five stars, it's because I have two criticisms.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC CHINESE CINEMA !!! 2 Feb 2009
I take on board the points from 72trails of smoke in the review below, however this is still an absolute classic film. The picture quality is good & you get a real feel of the fantastic scenery from the unbelievable cinematography in this chinese masterpiece. Still in my opinion Zhang Yimou's greatest work. A Must buy for all film lovers
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 13 July 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
A tremendous film....simply excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Piece Of Film-making 11 July 2014
By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Red Sorghum marked the 1987 film debuts of both its director Zhang Yimou and star (and future wife’ and muse of the director) Gong Li and, given its mesmerising visual qualities and its (near) epic, and increasingly powerful, storyline, is all the more remarkable that it emerged from such 'fledgling’ talents. That director (previously cinematographer) Zhang went on to develop his acute visual sense still further in films such as Ju Dou, Raise The Red Lantern and To Live and the later (more conventional) action pics, Hero and House of Flying Daggers, comes as no surprise, but Red Sorghum remains (for me, at least) one of his most innovative and engaging works.

Set in 1930s China and narrated in flashback by the grandson of Gong Li’s 'peasant’ girl Jiu’er (known as 'Nine’) and her mercurial husband Yu (played by Jiang Weng), as a 'mythical story from folklore’, Zhang’s film (initially, at least) has an intimate and ethereal quality reminiscent of Kurosawa’s Rashomon before opening out into something with more epic qualities as it takes in the decade-long story of Gong’s 'adopted’ 'wine’-maker (the film’s title referring, in effect, to one of her ‘products’), culminating in her country’s conflict with Japan. Zhang’s film moves effortlessly from being a (frequently comic) story of societal convention (as Nine’s 'innocent’ girl is initially 'forced’ into arranged marriage with a local businessman and leper!), jealous romance, bandit assaults (at times reminiscent here of Leone) and war-time conflict, but what remains unchanging are Zhang (and cinematographer Gu Changwei’s) stunning visuals – the film’s colour palette (frequently reds) never failing to impress, whether it be for the depiction of the amazing landscapes, sunsets or fields of swaying sorghum grass.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Some bits of this are very slow but I enjoyed it. It's not really a...
Some bits of this are very slow but I enjoyed it. It's not really a martial arts movie more of a love story. But I liked it.
Published 2 hours ago by bookworm
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Published 12 days ago by beckyhallas
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
This was not what I thought....The description used the word, 'delightful' - and the subject matter surely could not be described with that word. Read more
Published 1 month ago by D. J. Thornton
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
The beautiful Gong Li can do not wrong in my book and the scenery is wonderful as well. Brutal and moving
Published 5 months ago by C.M. Cross
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Sorghum
This is a really topnotch Chinese movie set in the mid 20th Century. it is both panoramic and intimate and the story is tells will resonate long after it's over. Read more
Published 7 months ago by marjorian
5.0 out of 5 stars Style over substance, and good job too.
This is a 1987 film from acclaimed director Yimou Zhang, and features the well known actress Gong Li, in her first starring role. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mr. P. Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Zhang Yimou's first films
and it shows - evidence of low budget, variable pace in the film, variable acting too. The plot borders on melodrama at times but the film is worth watching and fascinating within... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Seoulprovider
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film
Beautifully filmed, good story, deals with personal, cultural and historical aspects of Chinese culture and evokes lots of different emotions. I love this film. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Baolinmca
5.0 out of 5 stars Debut from the Chinese Danny Boyle....
I refer to, of course, 2008's Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing being designed and choreographed by the visionary director of this, his first film - China's own Yimou Zhang. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Tim Kidner
1.0 out of 5 stars So what? movie
I've been fascinated for the Asian cinema, I super enjoyed some As The "Hiding Dragon", " The Curse of the Golden Flower", 'Suzhou's River", "Zu You's Train", but that one, just... Read more
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by mddbali
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