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Raise the Red Lantern-Mandarin

1.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 149.47
Only 5 left in stock.
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Product Details

  • Actors: Zhang Yimou, He Saifei, Cao Cuifeng, Ma Jingwu, Gong Li
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Digital Sound, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Razor Digital Entertainment
  • Release Date: July 1 2007
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 1.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000BBOU5O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,649 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Zhang Yimou (Ju Dou) directed this fascinating, visually formal 1991 film about an educated woman (Gong Li) who is sent off to become the newest wife of a feudal nobleman in 1920s China. Nearly isolated in his spooky, palatial home, she develops relationships with several of the other wives and slowly becomes aware of a hideous legacy of punishment toward more willful women. The film has a brittle and dry quality that is deliberate, but also suggestive of Zhang working through various explorations of his own style (which he resolved in his next film, The Story of Qiu Ju). Gong Li, one of the world's great actresses, is superb. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is a beautiful film, amazing, touching, moving and unique in many ways. But this is one of the WORST DVD releases I have ever seen. I know it's hard to get foreign language films, especially ones so removed from Western Cinema released in the West, but this dvd was atrocious.
It had the worst transfer, the film looked horrible, the quality was insulting to such a great film. The subtitles were few and far between, MAJOR dialogues are missing and even the title is mistranslated! How this could EVER be a mainstream DVD release I will never know but DO NOT PURCHASE IT, it will only make you cry a bit at the injustice this release has done for the film.
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Format: DVD
This is a wonderful, spectacular movie, one of my favourites, but this particular distributor has butchered it horribly. The video picture is mediocre quality, and whoever subtitled it obviously doesn't speak English, couldn't spell "cat" without a dictionary, and was likely drunk at the time. I highly recommend owning this movie - but not this DVD release of it. I've heard that the MGM release is a million times better, and it's next on my purchase list.
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Format: DVD
Awesome, 5-star movie, but be warned if you expect a prestine copy. If you're a true cinephile and you're collecting, wait for a proper edition. It's really a shame such a scratched-up and poorly translated version is being sold. Insulting, really, because it's such a beautiful film and deserving of proper reverence.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.2 out of 5 stars 86 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the film, hate the DVD March 28 2006
By Alyssa - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Raise the Red Lantern is a compelling masterpiece that operates not only as a heart-rending story of feminist struggle, but as a complex allegory of brutal Chinese politics. I love Yimou's fascinating use of aural and color symbolism in this gorgeous outcry against human suffering.

That being said, this DVD was an utter travesty! If I hadn't bought this thing from Amazon, I would have sworn this thing was bootlegged. It was in such bad shape. The image was dirty and scratched, as though it had been taken from a very old print. The colors were noticeably lackluster and washed-out. The soundtrack was extremely muddy. And don't even get me started on the subtitles. It was a HORRIBLE translation! They definitely detracted from the film.

I know for a fact that there are better prints out there. When I first saw a version of this in film school, it was on laserdisc. The laserdisc had beautiful visuals. And having watched the VHS version a few times, I know that there are far better translations out there.

I can't tell you how embarrassed I was to show this DVD to my husband after having talked about how great this film. The DVD is positively underwhelmingly and does not do this beautiful film justice at all. We definitely need someone to put an "authorized" version out. I'm talking to you, Criterion!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "Snap," "Crackle," and "Pop" Ruin My Favorite Film Feb. 26 2006
By Melissa Johnston - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Whoever made this DVD didn't even try to put out a decent product.

I am not the first (nor will I be the last) to express how awful the Razor DVD release of Raise the Red Lantern truly is. And it's horrifying to think that this travesty might be someone's first introduction to such a beautiful film.

I have loved this film since I first saw it in 1992--my university made Raise the Red Lantern an annual part of its excellent foreign film lineup--and I can't remember how many times I saw it or how many friends I made see it. (I do know that one year I trekked out to see it three times in less than a week because I was writing a paper on it.) As beautiful as Yimou's other films are, this one is my favorite, with its deep psychological layers, beautiful cinematography, and haunting story.

Yet this release is riddled with problems. Both the picture and the sound have a snap-crackle-pop quality -- in fact, the picture looks snowy in so many places that it's almost funny when you get to a scene where it really is snowing because it doesn't look real. Yimou is such a master with color, blanketing entire shots with red, white, yellow, or blue, but that is ruined with the black and white scratches all over the picture. Surely someone somewhere has a good copy of the film that could have been used in making this DVD. It is especially awful in the darker nighttime shots, because the colors bleed, and there is none of the sharp focus that one expects in a digital format.

The subtitles are laughable. At one point, one character tells another not to be so "groovy" - gloomy? - before she sneaks off to see her "secrete" lover.

This release is an insult to all involved. Please find a VHS copy to watch--but don't ask for mine, becasue I'm certainly not giving it up.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you love this movie do NOT buy this DVD March 24 2006
By judy913 - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this movie for the first time on the Independent Film Channel and loved it. I own the VHS tape and recently "upgraded" to the DVD. I should have read the reviews prior to purchasing the DVD - what a giant disappointment!

This DVD is horrible. I can't believe that it is even on the market. The picture is snowy - white streaks running thru the whole movie. Picture quality is murky, colors are foggy and uneven. The sound is equally horrible.

Shame on whoever produced this less than amateurish DVD. This movie deserves better. I thru this DVD in the trash and kept my old tape, which is much better.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Travesty of a Transfer Feb. 23 2006
By James E. Hill, Jr. - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of my very favorite films and I have a VHS version about 12 years old. I placed the film on my DVD "wish list" with, was excited to hear from that the film was finally being released on DVD and immediately ordered it. My assumption was that the film would be digitally remastered and would be a DVD treasure.
My wife and I watched it last night. The movie began with black and white streaks and snow throughout the film. The translation contained multiple misspelled words and grammatical errors. The colors were horrible, with bleeding reds and out of focus blue scenes. It was as if someone had found an old VHS tape and decided to make a bootleg copy to DVD with their own amateurish translation. After the DVD movie was over, we even put the 12 year old VHS tape in to compare quality and the difference was like night and day.
[...] The transfer of this movie from VHS to DVD is a travesty.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, Poor Transfer to DVD Feb. 16 2006
By Linda Iovinelli - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like others listed here I have waited a long time for this movie to come out on DVD. Raise the Red Lantern is one of my all time favorite movies. I think I have watched it at least a dozen times. I already own a VHS copy but liked the movie so much I wanted something that would last longer than a VHS tape. After this long wait boy was I disappointed. Not only is the picture poor, (lots of lines, distortions and poor color), but someone rewrote the translations. Also, not only were words changed, there were a lot of spelling errors. As for widescreen, it is the weirdest widescreen I have ever seen. It is like someone put a rectangular box over the picture and one side of the box moves! I feel bad giving this great five star movie one star but I think people should be aware of the quality of this DVD.