Laid-off road workers in Shanghai head to the interior to build a great road across China. Their task becomes more urgent when “the enemy” (Japan) invades, and the army needs a road to the front. A fantastic, genre-defying ensemble piece that, like Sports Queen, makes work look fun. Raymond King, the “Rudolph Valentino of Shanghai,” co-stars with Li Lili and emerging star Chen Yanyan, with musical numbers by all three and a few surprises – including a scene of full frontal nudity.
Alternative English titles: The Big Road, The Highway
Written and directed by Sun Yu
Music: George Njal (Nie Er)
Studio: United Photoplay Service (Lianhua)
Year of production: 1934
Date of release: January 1, 1935
Cast: Jin Yan, Chen Yanyan, Li Lili, Zhang Yi, Zheng Junli, Luo Peng, Han Langen, Zhang Zhizhi, Shang Guanwu, Liu Qiong, Liu Jiqun, Hong Jingling
English subtitles translated by Christopher Rea
See the video lectures and other materials in The Great Road module of the Chinese Film Classics online course.