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ɰɫ (1975)
The Empress Dowager

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 09/26/2004
Summary: 12th golden horse awards best actress and color art desgin

It is easy to see why they won the awards, the wardrobe and stunningly beautiful.
As for the story itself, it was quite intriguing what was happening. The introduction of the brother of the deceased emperor brings the movie into another scale. His performance of a old frail man with such a giant heart and loyality is worth the watch


Reviewed by: mpongpun
Date: 01/01/2003

Li Han Hsiang must be fascinated with the Empress Dowager. How many movies has he done on her? This flick is a historical drama based on the Empress Dowager Tzu Hsi’s rule during the 19th Century. Tzu Hsi was supposedly beautiful and charming along with having a thirst for power. The flick doesn’t really go into detail about Tzu Hsi’s character and only shows you glimpses of it. What a shame, because isn’t the movie about the Empress Dowager? Instead of watching a movie about her, we are shown a bunch of eunuchs and royal figureheads squabbling and double crossing one another. Indeed, the backstabbing did happen, but I would have liked for the movie to concentrate on the Empress Dowager’s thinking, lifestyle, and motives. One would have known that Tzu Hsi could be your best friend or your worst enemy. There was no middle ground. The movie leaves out some details on how her nephew, the Emperor, Kuang Hsu (Ti Lung), ascended to the throne and how she used him as a puppet—ruling behind a bamboo curtain. I guess you just have to know Chinese history or watch some of the rest of Li Han Hsiang’s works. Basically, this flick only gives a brief time of the events that happened during the Empress Dowager’s rule. All in all, I found the movie really entertaining and it seemed like it was pretty high budget (at least for a Shaw Brother flick). Lisa Lu, internationally renowned actress, plays the Empress Dowager. Ms. Lu plays the character so easily, that she was also casted as the Empress Dowager in a few other films such as Bernardo Bertolucci's THE LAST EMPEROR.