ABOUT THE FILM
This early silent film by Cai Chusheng dramatizes a story of marital estrangement and reunion in modern Shanghai. Gao Zhanfei and Tan Ying star as the couple and Xue Lingxian (an alumna of Li Jinhui’s Bright Moon Song and Dance Troupe) as the social butterfly who comes between them. Like in Cai’s famous film New Women 新女性 (1935), A Dream in Pink features an abandoned mother who is also a writer. Pink is also one of several Lianhua productions prominently featuring children, including Love and Duty 戀愛與義務 (1931), Goddess 神女 (1934), Our Little Boy 小天使 (1935), Song of China 天倫 (1935), and Cai’s A Lamb Astray 迷途的羔羊 (1936). Don’t miss the closing silent song by child actor Yan Xiaoling.
Fenhongse de meng 粉紅色的夢
Written and directed by Cai Chusheng 蔡楚生
Cinematography: Zhou Ke 周克
Cast: Kao Chien Fei (Gao Zhanfei 高占非), Tan Ying 談瑛, Xue Lingxian 薛玲仙, Chen Chun-Li (Zheng Junli 鄭君里), C.C. Liu (Liu Jiqun 劉繼群), Yan Xiaoling 嚴小玲, L.K. Han (Han Langen 韓蘭根), Miao Zhusan 苗祝三
Studio: United Photoplay Service (Lianhua)
84 minutes, silent
Year of release: 1932
Subtitles translated by Christopher Rea
Subtitles created by Liu Yuqing
Music by Donald Sosin (https://oldmoviemusic.com/)
Mr. Luo Wen, a writer, and Ms. Hua Suyun, a schoolteacher, are a married couple living in Shanghai with their toddler daughter, Xiao Yun. Luo cherishes a “beautiful dream in pink” of happier days with Hua, and tries to recapture that fading dream with romantic gestures. Hua is more concerned with their mounting debts, and takes out her frustrations on Luo and Xiao Yun. Luo’s sighing discontent leads him to seek excitement in nightlife, and into the arms of Shanghai’s leading social butterfly, Ms. Li Huilan. As Hua exhorts her students to be good patriots and boycott enemy goods, Luo grows increasingly irascible and eventually spurns his wife for his new “angel.” Li leaves her other boyfriends, and Luo divorces Hua to marry Li, retaining custody of Xiao Yun. Hua leaves him with a sweater she has knit that winter, and an enjoinder to take good care of their daughter. Hua, facing stigma as a divorced woman, drifts to a small town outside Shanghai and resumes teaching. Li soon feels dissatisfied with her life as a wife and stepmother, and resumes her spendthrift nightlife as Luo slaves over his writing. As he nears completion of his novel “HEAVEN,” Luo hands the advance royalties over to Li, who promptly absconds with a paramour. Hua reads of Luo’s crisis in the newspaper and, months later, saves him from bankruptcy by submitting a book manuscript to a publisher under Luo’s name, entitled “TEARS OF AN ABANDONED WIFE.” When Luo receives the royalties and realizes what Hua has done, he searches Shanghai for her, walking for days with Xiao Yun in hand. Eventually, Hua responds to an apologetic open letter Luo publishes in the newspaper, and returns home, and Xiao Yun sings a song to celebrate the happy reunion.
Watch Xiao Yun’s happy song:
Spring River Flows East 一江春水向東流 (1947)
An epic melodrama in two parts. A dutiful wife struggles to keep her family together through eight years of war, only to suffer betrayal.
Song of China 天倫 (1935)
Fei Mu's traditionalist parable dramatizes the triumph of filial piety. Set to a lavish orchestral score and produced for a bilingual market.
New Women 新女性 (1935)
A contemporary social drama about “the woman question.” What are women’s lives like in China today? And what should they be?
Goddess 神女 (1934)
Ruan Lingyu stars as a single mother in Shanghai struggling to give her young son an education, in the face of exploitation and social prejudice.
Love and Duty 戀愛與義務 (1931)
A romantic melodrama with paternalistic overtones, Love and Duty was the first Lianhua film to showcase the chemistry between Ruan Lingyu and Jin Yan.
Don’t Change Your Husband 情海重吻 (1929)
A married woman falls for a playboy college student. Will she live happily ever after? And what about her husband? Who will set things right?