Taohua qixue ji
Original English title: The Peach Girl
Literal translation of Chinese title: Peach Blossoms Weep Tears of Blood
Director: Richard Poh (Bu Wancang)
Studio: United Photoplay Services (Lianhua)
Year of release: 1931
89 minutes (see note below)
Cast: Ruan Lingyu, Jin Yan, Li Shiyuan, Wang Guilin, Zhou Lili, Li Yanzhu, Han Langen, Liu Jiqun, Huang Junzhen, Xing Shaomei
Ruan Lingyu (Lily Yuen) co-stars with Jin Yan (Raymond King) in this silent film about a young couple whose love is thwarted by the class divide. The son of a rich landowning family and the daughter of a herder who works for them are friends as children. As they grow up, the boy’s mother insists that he stop socializing with poor village kids, but the childhood friendship blossoms into romance. As polemic, the film indicts class snobbery; as a star vehicle, it offers fantastic shots of its charismatic lead actors. Lianhua (UPS) studio even threw in a couple action scenes–brawls that appear inspired by the recent wuxia (martial arts) craze.
The film contains original Chinese-English bilingual title cards. The Chinese text has been translated when its meaning differs significantly from the English.
The duration of the title card that appears at minute 10:43 has been extended slightly for legibility.
English subtitles translated by Christopher Rea
Watch other films directed by Richard Poh (Bu Wancang):
- Hua Mu Lan (1939)
Watch other films starring Jin Yan:
Watch other films starring Ruan Lingyu:
Jin Yan 金焰
Jin Yan, also known as Raymond King, was a Korea-born actor who starred in many silent films produced by Lianhua Studio
Jin Yan (2009), by Richard J. Meyer
Jin Yan: The Rudolph Valentino of Shanghai tells the remarkable story of the “Emperor of Film,” who dominated the golden age of Chinese silent movies. Jin Yan achieved his greatest stardom in the 1930s, when women literally threw themselves at his feet.
Ruan Ling-Yu (2005), by Richard J. Meyer
Ruan Ling-yu: The Goddess of Shanghai tells the story of one of the greatest Chinese movie stars of the silent era from humble origins to tragic death at the height of her career.
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.
Playthings 小玩意 (1933)
Artisan toymakers struggling to survive amidst war and competition from big business.
Wild Rose 野玫瑰 (1932)
A vivacious country lass and a rich Shanghai boy fall in love. What will happen to young love when an uninhibited girl meets urban high society?
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.