The White Countess

Synopsis: Shanghai. 1936. Crossroads of the world and into this city of political intrigue comes Sofia, a Russian Countess who, with the remains of her family, has been left stateless by the Revolution. Forced by her reduced circumstances to support herself and her family as a bar-girl and taxi dancer, Sofia forms a relationship with Jackson, a blind former diplomat who opens an elegant bar; The White Countess. Their curious relationship matures but they are caught up in the fall of the city to the Japanese invaders.
Director(s): James Ivory
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
135 min

Another punishment is waiting for her.

Such disgrace.

Who would have thought

when my son married her...

she would one day bring such disgrace

to his memory.

Even now she's in there,

putting on that powder.

God's watching her. God will punish her.

this shall not go on. I shall forbid it.

It's gone on long enough.

Grushenka, you hear me?

It's gone on too long.

Don't you worry, Mama. God will punish her.

Well, your aunt and I have discussed it.

We've decided, haven't we, Vera?

We're going to make her stop,

and if she won't, then we cast her out.

Isn't that right, Vera?

Don't think about it anymore, Mama,

and don't worry yourself.

You'll only distress yourself.

God will punish her for what she's doing.

It's you who'll be punished.

Why do you talk that way about Mama?

Why do you always say

horrible things about her?

Oh, silence, child. Silence.

You don't understand these things.

Thank God you don't.

If Mama didn't have to go out to work,

then you would have to go instead.

Then who would be the wicked one?


-Oh, silence.

-Where do you think you're going, child?

-I want to go and play.

No. She wants to play

with those frightful Jews downstairs.

-That's what you want to do, child?

-Let me go.

-Can I go downstairs, Mama?

-Yes, of course.

You shouldn't touch her

when you're going to your work.

But Katya is right, isn't she, Grusha?

If I didn't earn money for us,

it would be you who'd have to...

find a way.

And it wouldn't be so easy for you.

Then play something else.

You don't have to play that all the time.

Play whatever you want.

Oh, hello. Your daughter just came down,

did you know?

I know. I hope you don't mind.

Send her back upstairs

when you've had enough of her.

Would you like to stay for a moment?

Look at those rascals.

-I'll make you some tea.

-No, no, no. I must go. I'll be late.

-Thank you.

-Well, take care of yourself.

This city can be dangerous at night.

Oh, I can take care of myself. Bye.


Do you speak French?

Of course you do.

Come on, say something.

This part of town, it's so dull.

Come to the French district.

It's much more fun.

There's more enjoyment, more laughter.

Come on.

Come with me. I'll pay you enough.

You won't regret it.

I'm expected at my work.

They won't miss you tonight.

I'm a rich man.


I didn't know rich men rode the tram.

Everyone rides the tram.

I saw T.V. Soong himself

on the tram the other night.

Besides, I have a limousnie.

It's waitnig just here. At this next stop.

A chauffeur, everything.

Get off and I'll take you where you're going.

Come on.

Some other time...

Hey, don't go!

We have to. We have to stick together.

And not just because we're Russians.

That's not the only reason.

...every time you're with him nit's Victor.



Well, hello again.

-How's your little one?

-Better, thank you. Much better now.

That one.

She went back with that German last night.

I knew she would.

She might as well be on the streets.

That's the third time this week.

You'll sit with me tonight, won't you?

It's a disgrace

the way some of these girls behave.

Have they no shame at all?

Isn't it the same for all of us?

You and me, too?

If you mean Monsieur Verdurni,

you know that was different.

And for you, too.

You're passionate. Love sweeps you away.

We're women, we can't help that.

Masha, all of us here have to fall in love

from time to time.

To feed our children...

and our mothers and our sisters.

Please, please sit with me.

Don't worry. I'll sit with you. It's all right.

Hey, hey, hey...

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Kazuo Ishiguro

Sir Kazuo Ishiguro (born 8 November 1954) is a Nobel Prize-winning British novelist, screenwriter, and short-story writer. He was born in Nagasaki, Japan; his family moved to the UK in 1960 when he was five. Ishiguro graduated from the University of Kent with a bachelor's degree in English and Philosophy in 1978 and gained his master's from the University of East Anglia's creative writing course in 1980. Ishiguro is considered one of the most celebrated contemporary fiction authors in the English-speaking world, having received four Man Booker Prize nominations, and having won the award in 1989, for his novel The Remains of the Day. Ishiguro's 2005 novel, Never Let Me Go, was named by Time as the best novel of the year, and was included in the magazine's list of the 100 best English-language novels published between 1923 and 2005. Growing up in a Japanese family in the UK was crucial to his writing, as it enabled him, he says, to see things from a different perspective to that of many of his British peers. His seventh novel, The Buried Giant, was published in 2015. In 2017, the Swedish Academy awarded Ishiguro the Nobel Prize in Literature, describing him in its citation as a writer "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world". Ishiguro was knighted in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours List. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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