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Ju Dou [VHS] (1991)

Li Gong , Wei Li , Fengliang Yang , Yimou Zhang  |  PG-13 |  VHS Tape
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Ju Dou [VHS] + Raise the Red Lantern [VHS] + The Story of Qiu Ju [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Li Gong, Wei Li, Baotian Li, Ma Chong, Zhijun Cong
  • Directors: Fengliang Yang, Yimou Zhang
  • Writers: Heng Liu
  • Producers: Hu Jian, Wenze Zhang, Yasuyoshi Tokuma
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • VHS Release Date: February 10, 1993
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000065T4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,226 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Drama

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, but March 16, 2006
By J. Dunn
Format:DVD
I second the reviews below. This is a 5-star movie, but the quality of this transfer is horrible. Parts of the movie are very scratchy and full of film debris. Worst yet, to me, are the subtitles. They are laughable. Almost every subtitle contained some error. While it was (sorta) fun to laugh and the odd subtitles, that tended to remove me emotionally from the film. Too bad. The same comments apply to the "Raise the Red Lantern" release from this same company.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a Greek tragedy December 29, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The title character, a peasant sold as a concubine to a cruel old man, is played by the beautiful Gong Li, one of the great actresses of our time who followed this brilliant work with spectacular performances in The Story of Qiu Ju (1991), Raise the Red Lantern (1992), and Farewell, My Concubine (1993). Li Wei plays her master, Yang Jin-shan, the childless owner of a dye mill in the agrarian China of the 1920s. Li Wei's fine performance combines craftiness with iniquity reminding me a little of the late great John Huston with scruffy beard. The third character in the tragic triangle is Jin-shan's nephew, Yang Tianqing, a modest man who does most of the work in the dye mill. The pent-up intensity of Li Baotian, who plays Tianqing, recalled to me at times the work of Ben Kingsley. Ju Dou falls in love with Tianqing almost by default, and it is their ill-fated love that leads to tragedy.

In some ways this visually stunning, psychologically brutal film about paternity and the old social order of China was Director Zhang Yimou's "practice" for the making two years later of his masterpiece, the afore mentioned, Raise the Red Lantern, one the greatest films ever made. The theme of patriarchal privilege is similar, and in both films Gong Li portrays a young concubine required to bear a son and heir to a cruel and ageing man of means. Even though the setting in both films is China in the twenties before the rise of Communism, both films very much annoyed the ageing leadership of Communist China and were censured (Ju Dou was actually banned), ostensibly for moral reasons, but more obviously because of the way they depicted elderly men in positions of power.

Ju Dou is the lesser film only in the sense that Sirius might outshine the sun were the two stars placed side by side.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful January 26, 2001
Format:DVD
This was the first Gongi Li film I saw and its visually beautiful with an unforgettable story and sensual sexy portrayal which makes it stand out as exceptional. No one is making films like this in Hollywood. The chemistry between the Gongi Li and Li Bao-Tian is amazing. The story is however a tragic one. The mendacious but wealthy textile factory owner Yang Jin-shan (Li Wei) runs a successful business but has no heir. So buys himself a beautiful wife Ju Dou (Gong Li) However he obvious impotence leads to rages and then violence directed at Ju Dou who is trapped in a horrific situation. The charismatic but poor right hand man Yang Tian-qing (Li Bao-Tian) falls in love with her which further complicates an already explosive situation. This film is a must see with no easy answers at the end
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ju Dou: Razor D. E. lo-fi remix September 16, 2006
By 10K89
Format:DVD
Ju Dou is a great movie, I'd only previously seen it on VHS borrowed from the public library and was so looking forward to this release, but sadly I concure, this DVD is as bad as the other reviewers have previously stated. Worse than the old VHS recording I saw 7 years ago. So bad, that it's gotten someone like me, one who never writes reviews, to comment on it. This DVD should not be sold in the United States, or anywhere. Unfortunately, I picked this DVD up on a whim before reading any reviews.

I'd suggest you just cherish your memories of this wonderful film until a better transfer is made available. It was good to be reminded of the story, but very sad to see how carelessly Razor Digital Entertainment handled this transfer.

It really baffles me how terrible this transfer is. A few moments here and there the picture actually looks acceptable, but then the rest of the time it's blurry, washed out, monochromatic yellows and browns, lines and dust marks everywhere, and occasional digital glitches. This dvd has probably any bad transfer cliche you can imagine; more than I've seen anyway.

Yimou Zhang is a great director, Li Gong a wonderful actress, and it was from two beautiful films(seen only on VHS :( ) that I discovered this, Red Sorgum and Ju Dou. But heed the reviews, this DVD lo-fi remix of Ju Dou by Razor Digital Entertainment is a nightmare.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars STOP!!!! TOTAL RIPOFF February 17, 2006
Format:DVD
I just got my copy of this dvd which i was awaiting for anxiously having read the terrible reviews it has gotten last night and too late to cancel I cannot believe the bad quality of this dvd - the image is deplorable - it jumps, it has black scratches as if rain were falling, the colors are completely washed out and the sound is the worst I have ever heard or purchased. Be forwarned. I cannot believe the Zhang Yimou would let this product be sold with his name on it - the manufacturer should be ashamed for selling this and Amazon should give people back their money who bought this and accept the fact that is is not worth two cents.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware! February 19, 2006
Format:DVD
One of my all time favorite movies and a classic. The picture quality is HORRIBLE!! This appears to be a bootleg!!

Hopefully Sony or some American movie house will pick this up and transfer it correctly.

A pity!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Story of Colors
Upon watching this film I've come to discover the cinematic views pushed forward by the director, one that is politically as it is beautifully conveyed. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Fabian Wilfred
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
I really enjoy Gong Li movies as I think she is a good actress and she tends to be in movies that are a good story and that give insight into some aspect of life in China. Read more
Published 19 months ago by brian d. bouvier
4.0 out of 5 stars Gong Li frightens powers that be!
With the incomparable Gong Li, China's first and sexiest lady in cinema, who later brought Chinese films to popularity in the U.S. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Sheikhnbake
5.0 out of 5 stars Ju-Dou
First, I rated this product with 5 stars because the artists are incredible good. This girl does a magnificent works.
Second, like a genuine drama is at the top of the movies. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Nazzareno
5.0 out of 5 stars ju dou
it's about an old man hiring a young girl to have as his wife and bear his kids. when she fell in love with another hand. Read more
Published 21 months ago by big guy
3.0 out of 5 stars Disquieting Study Of Oppression
A bleak and disquieting exploration of the spirit stripping effects of sustained oppression from which there is no escape. This is a film about the dessertification of soul. Read more
Published on December 2, 2011 by Lindsay N. Bowker
5.0 out of 5 stars That's the way love goes...
What Gong Li does in `Ju Dou' is beyond astonishing. In perhaps her finest performance to date (and that is saying a lot for such a brilliant actress), Li delivers a breathtaking,... Read more
Published on September 1, 2011 by Andrew Ellington
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent movie!
Ju-Dou is an excellent movie that reveals much about Chinese culture through a love story between Ju-dou and her owner's cousin. Read more
Published on November 19, 2010 by Gaynell Catherine
4.0 out of 5 stars The other day, on PBS, I heard and saw
Enrico Caruso perform the most famous aria from Pagliacci--remastered, on the stage, in black and white. My God! THAT'S the way he sounded! Read more
Published on August 28, 2009 by Julie Vognar
1.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie, lousy DVD
This DVD should be outlawed and purged from the Amazon inventory, it is a disgrace to what DVD is capable of. It is a lousy transfer from a lousy print. Read more
Published on May 4, 2009 by JOEJOE
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