Curse of the Golden Flower

Synopsis: China, Later Tang Dynasty, 10th Century. On the eve of the Chong Yang Festival, golden flowers fill the Imperial Palace. The Emperor (Chow Yun Fat) returns unexpectedly with his second son, Prince Jai (Jay Chou). His pretext is to celebrate the holiday with his family, but given the chilled relations between the Emperor and the ailing Empress (Gong Li), this seems disingenuous. For many years, the Empress and Crown Prince Wan (Liu Ye), her stepson, have had an illicit liaison. Feeling trapped, Prince Wan dreams of escaping the palace with his secret love Chan (Li Man), the Imperial Doctor's daughter. Meanwhile, Prince Jai, the faithful son, grows worried over the Empress's health and her obsession with golden chrysanthemums. Could she be headed down an ominous path? The Emperor harbors equally clandestine plans; the Imperial Doctor (Ni Dahong) is the only one privy to his machinations. When the Emperor senses a looming threat, he relocates the doctor's family from the Palace to a remot
Genre: Action, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Yimou Zhang
Production: Sony Classic Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 33 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

His Highness Prince Yu arrives!

Your Majesty.

Prince Yu, is everything ready?

Mother, Jai is on his way.

Is he in the Palace?

No,he is at the Official Inn

awaiting orders.

First Brother mentioned

that as soon as Father arrives. . .

. . . he will ask permission to leave.

He wants to go to Qingzhou.


Her Majesty the Empress arrives!

First Brother.

Your Majesty.

So you are going.

Are you afraid?

You are my mother !

You now not ...

We have been intimate

for three years.

But, I am first

my father's son.


Why you pushed me away ?

If we want, things can be changed.

We can not change anything Mother.

Still, I would like to try.

Tell me.

Go and welcome

the Emperor first.

The day breaks.

The court presides.

Peace to all.

It is the Hour of the Tiger.

The day breaks.

The court presides.

Peace to all.

It is the Hour of the Tiger.

Your servant kneels

before the Empress.

Your Majesty's medicine

for the hour is ready.

By the Emperor's command. . .

. . . retire to your chambers!

The welcome ceremony is cancelled !

Retire to your chambers!

The welcome ceremony is cancelled !

The Emperor commands. . .

. . . retire to your chambers!

The welcome ceremony is cancelled !

Retire to your chambers!

The welcome ceremony is cancelled !

Your Majesty, the Emperor commands

everyone to go back to their chambers.

The ceremony is cancelled.

-Where is he ?

-He went to. . .

. . .to the Official Inn.

Your Majesty. . .

. . .the Emperor requests the presence

of the Empress and the two princes. . .

. . .on the Chrysanthemum Terrace

tomorrow morning.


Your Highness Prince Jai,

the Emperor has arrived.

Your son kneels before you.

Father, its a great honour

to have this visit.


Father's prowess is unequalled.

The decision to send you

to the frontier. . .

. . .was the right one.

I came here today. . .

. . .to remind you. . .

... your past mistakes.

The world is so much..

... while you have

what is given ..

Never take. . by force .

. . .what I don't give.

Father's advice words...

... are acknowledged.

Return with me to the Palace .

His Highness Prince Jai arrives!

He is here.

Your son kneels before you.


It has been over three years.

Have you been well?

I am very well.

And you?

I have just. . .

. . .I have just missed you.

You must have suffered.

I am fine.

Charity seeks no recognition.

Virtue seeks no reward.

The harvest is abundant.

It is the Hour of the Rabbit.

Your ..Highness. . .

. . .the Empress has been taking her

herbs , as you instructed.

Following Your wishes . .

. . .the black fungus is being added

by my daughter, Chan.

No one knows

How long has it been ?

Ten days.

How are you

and Father ?

Unchanged I suppose !


Why so many chrysanthemums?


It is for the Festival

Mother! Mother!

-Your Majesty! Your Majesty!

-What is going on?

Your Highness,

your servant does not know.

It is the third time

this has happened.

Mother,please what is wrong ?

go on , tell me.

You should rest, Mother.

.... I must finish all the embroidery

Before the Chrysanthemum Festival.

Have you been taking medicine?

Now you should go

and see your brothers

His Highness Prince Jai arrives!

I bow to my Brother, Wan.

Hello, Jai

Please... Thank you.

-Second Brother.

-Hello Yu.

I heard Father changed his plans

and welcomed you back personally.

was it hard being away

It was fine.

Mother it seems very ill

We feel she is anemic.

She takes medicine often.

She seems that she

is embroidering a lot.

Father !

They must be for the Festival.

Have you seen Crown Prince ?

-Why would I visit the Crown Prince?

-Father knows.

What do you know?

Go, go see him

Move !

Thats a Persian black fungus.

Its very powerful

Two grams a day for a short time

can make you crazy . . .

Chan, you think you know so much...enough

-But the Empress--

-Don't breathe a word.

we will be killed !

Law of the nation. . .

. . . precept of the home. . .

. . .ancient yet unchanged.

It is the Hour of the Dragon.

Your servant kneels

before the Empress.

Your Majesty's medicine

for the hour is ready.

So you are Chan.

Yes, my name is Chan.

-and our physician is your father?


It seems the Crown Prince

is some what pale .

Is the Empress asking my opinion?

My job is only to prepare medicine.

I don't know much the prince.

Is that so?

Come in.

"On the highest mountains

on the same. . .

. . . but one brother is missing,

without berries in his hair."

Prince Jai has returned.

The family is reunited.

Who will tell me ,

why we assemble on this

. . .terrace every Chrysanthemum

Festival , do you know ?

Yes Father, on the ninth day

of the ninth month

the sun and the moon

join the one.

It symbolizes the strength and harmony

of the family and we celebrate. . .

-. . .on this high terrace.

-You have studied well.

The terrace is round.

The table is square.


That Heaven is round and

the earth is square.

The law of the Heavens

dictates the rule of earthly life. . .

. . . under the circle, within the square,

everyone has his proper placement.

This is called natural law.

To all my sons and to whom

they are keen. . .

. . .all relationships obey this law.

Further any requests to me ?

My Father . .

. . . I beg to ask you the permission. . .

. . .to travel to Qingzhou.

so you want

to be sent to the frontier?

I would like to view the world. . .

. . .outside of this palace

how its is?

anything else?


-I will request permission .

-I am listening ..

... I do not know

if it would be appropriate. . . .

when you know then tell me .

Your medicine was not yet finished

at the hour of the Dragon.

How much is left?

Tell me.

Your Majesty,

there is a sip or two.

-pour it to the Empress.


Your Highness. . .

. . a change in my health, perhaps.

Where did you hear that from?

She will have to take all of her

medicine,drink which is left over.

Third son ...


Mother, listen to the father, please.

Mother, please drink it.

Remain kneeling

until she drinks it.


Mother won't drink it.

-Why not let her be?

-forget your request .. she needs it. . .

. . .just as life is governed

by law.

Mother, you have been taking

this medicine for years.

just once follow.

Why change?


Doesn't seem to be strange...

. . .to quit it ?

Mother's symptoms

make her unaware ..

-We know, Father.

Being treated well now.

... with good medicine .

You have something to tell me?

Father, I know now,the night

of the Festival. . .

. . . I wish to command

the Imperial Guards.

I, too, wish to gain experience.

Since Prince Jai has returned. . .

. . . he will assume this duty.

-Jai , my son

-Yes, Father.

Are you ready to accept

this as your duty ?

for the Festival,

they will be under your sole command.

My plans are made !

I will never disappoint

you , Father .

Then you know

needs to be done.

The Empress arrives.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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