A Dream of Red Mansions (1988 film series)

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A Dream of Red Mansions
Chinese 红楼梦
Directed by Xie Tieli
Zhao Yuan
Written byNovel:
Cao Xueqin
Adapted screenplay:
Xie Tieli
Xie Fensong
Release date
1988 (Parts 1 & 2)
1989 (Parts 3–6)
Running time
735 minutes (total)
Language Mandarin

A Dream of Red Mansions (Chinese :红楼梦) is a Chinese serial feature film produced by Beijing Film Studio, released in 6 parts (8 episodes) between 1988 and 1989. Directed by Xie Tieli (谢铁骊) and Zhao Yuan (赵元), [1] it is a cinematic adaptation of the 18th-century Chinese novel of the same name. [2] The film took two years to prepare and three years to shoot, [3] and remains, at 735 minutes, the longest ever made in the People's Republic of China. [4]


Lead actresses Xia Qin and Tao Huimin were both Yue opera artistes, with Xia Qin taking on the role of the male lead Jia Baoyu. The film won Best Director, Best Supporting Actress (Lin Moyu), Best Act Direction and Best Costume Design at the 10th Golden Rooster Awards.


Many of the actors were Chinese opera actors: Tao Huimin, Li Yongyong and He Saifei were all professional Yue opera actresses from the Zhejiang Xiaobaihua Yue Opera Troupe; Xing Jinsha (or Ying Kam Sha) was a Kunqu actress; Yuan Mei was a Huangmei opera actress; and Zhao Lirong was a Ping opera actress. Xia Qin, Ji Qilin, Li Lingyu and He Qing had all undergone years of training in Chinese opera.

Plot summary

The film adapts the major events and incidents of the novel. The last part (Part Six) is essentially an abridged adaptation of the Cheng-Gao ending.

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  1. "A DREAM OF RED MANSIONS (1989)". British Film Institute . Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  2. Xiao, Zhiwei and Zhang, Yingjin. Encyclopedia of Chinese Film (1998), Routledge: London & New York, p 378.
  3. Perkins, Dorothy, Encyclopedia of China: The Essential Reference to China, Its History and Culture (2013), Routledge: London & New York, p 134.
  4. "导演谢铁骊病逝享年89 曾导六部《红楼梦》". ent.people.com.cn (in Chinese). 20 June 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2018.