M. Butterfly

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Overview

David Cronenberg's cinematic intensity eviscerates this adaptation of David Henry Hwang's passionate stage production. Based on a true incident involving a French diplomat who carried on an affair for 18 years with a man the diplomat thought was a woman, M. Butterfly begins in 1964 Beijing when French foreign service employee Rene Gallimard Jeremy Irons becomes smitten with Chinese opera performer Song Liling John Lone. Before long, Gallimard is enamored with Song, and they begin an inflamed affair -- bracketed ...
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Overview

David Cronenberg's cinematic intensity eviscerates this adaptation of David Henry Hwang's passionate stage production. Based on a true incident involving a French diplomat who carried on an affair for 18 years with a man the diplomat thought was a woman, M. Butterfly begins in 1964 Beijing when French foreign service employee Rene Gallimard Jeremy Irons becomes smitten with Chinese opera performer Song Liling John Lone. Before long, Gallimard is enamored with Song, and they begin an inflamed affair -- bracketed by the stipulation that Gallimard will never be allowed to look upon her in a state of complete undress. Gallimard agrees to the rules, but, as he climbs up the diplomatic ladder, the communist government gets involved, corralling Song to become an informer for the government. When, at last, Gallimard's passion demands nudity, Song flees the relationship. Gallimard, pining for his lost love, then becomes a physical and mental wreck. He leaves China and accepts a two-bit diplomatic position, but then Song appears once again to Gallimard. At that point, Gallimard is arrested and, during the subsequent sensational trial for treason, his affair is exposed for the sham that it is.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/10/1997
  • UPC: 085391298434
  • Original Release: 1993
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeremy Irons Rene Gallimard
John Lone Song Liling
Ian Richardson Ambassador Toulon
Annabel Leventon Frau Baden
Shizuko Hoshi Comrade Chin
Richard McMillan Embassy Colleague
Vernon Dobtcheff Agent Etancelin
Damir Andrei 2nd Intelligence Officer
Deirdre Bowen
Barbara Chilcott Critic at Garden Party
Viktor Fulop Marshal
David Hemblen 1st Intelligence Officer
Sean Hewitt Ambassador's Aide
Tristram Jellinek Defense attorney
Philip McGough Prosecution attorney
Peter Messaline Diplomat at party
David Neal Judge
Antony Parr 3rd Intelligence Officer
Barbara Sukowa Jeanne Gallimard
Technical Credits
David Cronenberg Director
Suzanne Benoit Makeup
John Board Asst. Director
Deirdre Bowen Casting
Denise Cronenberg Costumes/Costume Designer
Bryan Day Sound/Sound Designer
Elinor Rose Galbraith Set Decoration/Design
David Henry Hwang Executive Producer, Screenwriter
Alicia Keywan Art Director
Gabriella Martinelli Producer
James McAteer Art Director
Ronald Sanders Editor
Howard Shore Score Composer
Carol Spier Production Designer
Marilyn Stonehouse Production Designer
Peter Suschitzky Cinematographer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Cronenberg's followup to Dead Ringers and Naked Lunch

    M Butterfly was the second serious film for Master Canadian director David Cronenberg. Jeremy Irons teaming with him again after Ringers, in which Irons portrays a French diplomat while in China happens to fall in love with the star of the Chinese Opera John Lone. But, he cannot discern that the woman he loves is actually a man involved in politcal intrigue. Based on David Henry Hwang's award winning play, M Butterfly plays out like a tragic opera and Cronenberg's usual team are here to show us his grand vision. Editor Ronald Sanders, DP Peter Suschitsky, Composer Howard Shore his sister Denise on costumes and Carol Spier his art director. Seek this film out and add it to your collection. You'll see why David Cronenberg is my favourite director of today and what a brilliant visual mind he has.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Worth the time

    This is a thoughtful and entertaining movie with Jeremy Irons and John Lone at their best. This is one of those movies that will always be at the back of your mind, ready for instant recall. Watching the characters and the plot unfold will surprise you and grab your attention.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews