List of Chinese films before 1930

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This is a list of the earliest films produced and released before 1930 during the Qing Dynasty and Republican China, ordered by year of release.

For an alphabetical listing of Chinese films see Category:Chinese films.

Title Director Cast Genre Notes
1905
The Battle of Dingjunshan Ren Jingfeng Tan Xinpei Historical Drama This recording of a Beijing opera performance constitutes the first Chinese film ever made
1913
The Difficult Couple Zhang Shichuan,
Zheng Zhengqiu
Short First Chinese short feature film
1917
Victims of Opium Zhang Shichuan,
Guan Haifeng
Drama/Social Criticism Based on a novel by Wu Jianren
1921
Yan Ruisheng Ren Pengnian Docudrama First full-length Chinese film, a dramatized recreation of a 1920 Shanghai murder case
1922
Laborer's Love Zhang Shichuan Silent Earliest surviving complete film[1][2]
The Sea Oath Dan Duyu Yin Mingzhu Drama
Women Skeletons Guan Haifeng Action/Crime One of the earliest Chinese films with extensive martial arts scenes.
Zhang Xinsheng Zhang Shichuan Crime Early Mingxing Film Company production based on a real-life patricidal case.[3]
1923
Dreams of a Taoist Priest Ren Pengnian Short Adapted from a short story in Pu Songling's Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio
The Filial Wife's Soup Ren Pengnian Wang Fuqing Drama Adapted from a short story in Pu Songling's Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio
The Lotus Falls Ren Pengnian Zhang Huichong Drama Adapted from a classic Chinese opera
Orphan Rescues Grandfather Zhang Shichuan Wang Hanlun,
Zheng Xiaoqiu,
Wang Xianzhai
Drama First major success by Mingxing[3]
The Predestined Ren Pengnian Xu Suzhen,
Wang Fuqing
Drama
The Widow Wants to Remarry Dan Duyu Drama
1924
The Abandoned Child Dan Duyu Dan Erchun Drama Adaptation of Shakespeare's "Oliver Twist"
A Couple Through Water and Fire Cheng Bugao Romance Cast consisted of child actors, averaging about 10 years of age
A Gallant Young Man Crime Alternate title: A Chivalrous Youth
Dear Brother Ren Pengnian Zhang Huichong Drama
The Divorcee Li Zeyuan
Hou Yao
Wang Hanlun Drama Tragedy advocating greater rights for women
Lured Into Marriage Zhang Shichuan Zheng Zhengqiu,
Maxu Weibang,
Yang Naimei
Drama Alternate title: Love and Vanity
Patriotic Umbrella Ren Pengnian Zhang Huichong Action/Crime
The Poor Children Zhang Shichuan Wang Hanlun
Yang Naimei
Wang Xianzhai
Drama
Public Opinion Gu Kenfu,
Chen Shouyin
Wang Yuanlong,
Zhang Zhiyun,
Xu Su'e
Romance Alternate title: Human Feelings
Righteousness Above Family Ren Pengnian Drama Alternate title: The Edge of Chivalry
The Soul of Yuli Zhang Shichuan Wang Hanlun
Yang Naimei
Wang Xianzhai
Drama/Social Criticism Adapted from a novel by Xu Zhenya, an early plea for increased rights for women.
Tea-Picking Girl Xu Hu Yang Naimei Romance
Tide of Evil Crime
Younger Brother Dan Duyu He Rongzhu Drama
1925
A Blind Orphan Girl Zhang Shichuan Xuan Jinglin
Zheng Xiaoqiu
Drama
A Fatal Love Ren Pengnian Wang Fuqing
Ren Aizhu
Drama
A Home Truth Zhang Huichong Zhang Huichong
Xu Su'e
Crime/Action
A Peach Blossom in Human Form Chen Shouyin Huang Yulin
Mao Jianpei
Romance
A Pitiful Girl Zhang Shichuan Zhang Zhiyun Drama
A Shanghai Woman Zhang Shichuan Xuan Jinglin
Maxu Weibang
Drama
A String of Pearls Li Zeyuan Drama Adaptation of Maupassant's "The Necklace"
A Student's Suffering Guan Haifeng Drama
Awakening Ling Lianying Drama
Battle Exploits Xu Xinfu Wang Yuanlong
Zhang Zhiyun
War/Romance
Between Love and Filial Duty Li Zeyuan
Mei Xuechou
Wang Hanlun
Lei Xiadan
Romance
Cupid's Puppets Mei Xuechou
Hou Yao
Drama
Eternal Regret for Drunkenness Yang Xiaozhong Drama
The Good Brothers Zhang Shichuan Zheng Zhegu
Yang Naimei
Drama
Heroine Li Feifei Shao Zuiweng Fen Juhua
Wu Suxin
Action/Romance
The Last Conscience Zhang Shichuan Wang Xianzhai
Xuan Jinglin
Drama
Little Friend Zhang Shichuan Zheng Xiaoqiu
Xuan Jinglin
Drama Based on the novel Sans Famille by Hector Malot
Out of Hell Zhang Huichong Zhang Huichong
Xu Su'e
Action Alternate title: Lovers From a Den of Thieves
Past Loves Zhu Shouju Wang Yingzhi Drama
The Person in the Boudoir Dream Li Zeyuan
Mei Xuechou
Wang Hanlun War
Repentance Shao Zuiweng Drama
Some Girl Dan Duyu Yin Mingzhu Morality Play Alternate title: Returning Home
Stormy Night Zhi Shouzhu Wang Yingzhi
Han Yunzhen
Comedy
Tears on the Battlefield Cheng Bugao Zhou Wenzhu War/Romance
There's a Full Moon Tonight Qiu Qixiang Ding Ziming
Li Pingqian
Romance Alternate title: Conjugal Bliss
True Love Chen Tian Tragedy
Unbearable Memories Qiu Qixiang Ding Ziming
Li Pingqian
Drama
Variations Chen Zhizhen Wang Huixian
Wang Hanhui
Drama
Who is the Mother Gu Wuwei Gu Wuwei
Gu Baolian
Drama Based on Le Fils Naturel by Alexandre Dumas, fils
Yanghua's Hate Shi Dongshan Han Yunzhen
Wang Naidong
Alternate title: Catkins
The Young Factory Owner Lu Jie Li Minghui
Wang Yuanlong
Drama
The Young Gentleman Dan Duyu Dan Erchun
He Rongzhu
Drama Adapted from Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Young Master Feng Hong Shen Alternate title: The Playboy
1926
A Couple's Secret Shao Zuiweng Hu Die
A Lovelorn Actress Zhang Shichuan Xuan Jinglin
Zhu Fei
Drama
Better Go Home Yang Xiaozhong Wang Fuqing War Adapted from a novel by Tokutomi Roka
Family Heirloom Dan Duyu Yin Mingzhu
He Rongzhu
Mystery
Hell and Heaven Gu Wuwei Gu Wuwei
Lady Meng Jiang Shao Zuiweng Hu Die Dramatization of a famous folk tale
Live on Love Shi Dongshan
Love and Gold Zhang Shichuan
Hong Shen
Ding Ziming
Hong Shen
Drama
The Love Freak Ma-Xu Weibang Alternate title: Monster in Love.
The Lucky Dolt Zhu Shouju Xing Haha Comedy One of Chinese cinema's first full-length comedies, adapted from a Kunqu opera
Midnight Lovers Xia Chifeng Chen Qiufeng Drama
Moral Principles Liu Shen Ding Ziming Drama
Mother's Happiness Shi Dongshan Zhou Wenzhu Drama
Movie Actresses Shao Zuiweng Hu Die
Wang Hanlun
Wu Suxin
Drama
Orchid in an Empty Valley Zhang Shichuan Zhang Zhiyun,
Yang Naimei,
Zhu Fei
Drama Released in two parts. Based on the 1900 Japanese novel "No no Hana" (Wildflower) by Kuroiwa Ruikō.
The Pearl Pagoda Shao Zuiweng Hu Die Romance Adapted from a classic Qing dynasty novel
The Prostitute's Son Chen Kengran Zheng Yisheng
Xu Qinfang
Drama
The Rich Man's Daughter Zhang Shichuan Xuan Jinglin Drama
Seizing a National Treasure Zhang Huichong Zhang Huichong
Xu Su'e
Action
The Shadow on the Window Fu Zhuoqun Lu Jianfen
Uproar in the Studio Wan brothers Animation First Chinese animated short
White Snake Shao Zuiweng Hu Die
Wu Suxin
Action/Fantasy Tianyi Film Company production and a significant overseas success in Southeast Asia[3]
Why Not Her? Bu Wancang Zhang Zhiyun Drama
The Worker's Wife Ren Pengnian Ren Aizhu Romance
1927
A Beauty of 16 Zheng Zhengqiu Ding Ziming Drama
Country of Women Qiu Qixiang
Li Pingqian
Hu Die Based on a section of Journey to the West
A Couple in Name Bu Wancang Ruan Lingyu Mingxing Film Company production. Ruan Lingyu's movie debut.
Arrow of Hatred Yang Xiaozhong Yang Aili Action Based on a story in Water Margin
At the End of Her Rope Mei Xueshou Yang Aili Drama
Bai Furong Chen Tian Zhang Huimin
Wu Suxin
Action/Romance
The Beauty Trap Zhu Shouju, et al. Zhang Zhiyun Based on two chapters in Romance of the Three Kingdoms
The Cape Poet Hou Yao Li Dandan
Hou Yao
Lin Chuchu
Drama
The Cave of the Silken Web Dan Duyu Yin Mingzhu Silent. Shenmo Thought to be lost. Rediscovered in 2013.
Dream of the Red Chamber Ren Pengnian Lu Jianfen
Wen Yimin
Drama
Fallen Plum Blossoms Zhang Shichuan
Zheng Zhengqiu
Zhang Zhiyun
Xuan Jinglin
Drama Released in three parts
The Flirting Scholar Shao Zuiweng
Qiu Qixiang
Chen Yumei
Lin Yongrong
Comedy
For Her Father's Sake Zhang Shichuan Zhang Zhiyuan Drama
General Xue Conquers the West Gu Wuwei Lu Cuilan
Li Guifang
Action Released in two parts
The Hero with White-Haired Legs Qiu Qixiang Hu Die
Heroic Son and Daughter Wen Yimin Wen Yimin
Fan Xuepeng
Action First of a five-part series
The Industrial Magnate Hong Ji
Zhou Kongkong
Tang Mali Drama Adapted from Les Misérables
Legendary Luminous Pearl Chen Tian Zhang Huimin
Wu Suxin
Action/Crime
Ma Yongzhen of Shandong Zhang Shichuan Zhang Huichong
Gong Jianong
Action Remade in 1972 as Boxer from Shantung
Magnificent Destiny Chen Tian Lu Jianfen
Fan Xuepeng
Action Alternate title: Reunited
The Monkey King's Struggles in the Kingdom of Chechi Zhang Shichuan Zheng Xiaoqiu Adapted from Journey to the West
Mutual Competition Wang Yuanlong Zhou Wenzhu Romantic Comedy
The Old Man in the Moon Divorces Hou Yao Zhou Kongkong Romantic Comedy
Pitiful Qiuxiang Wang Yuanlong Li Minghui Romance
Princess Iron Fan Li Pingqian Hu Die
Chen Yumei
Based on the novel Journey to the West
Real and False Daughters Zhang Shichuan Xuan Jinglin
Zheng Xiaoqiu
Rebuild the Republic Xia Chifeng Chen Qiufeng War
Reciprocity Zhang Shichuan Yang Naimei
Redressing a Grievance Zhu Shouju Crime First film made about real-life Chinese magistrate Judge Bao
Resurrected Rose Li Minwei Lin Chuchu
Li Minwei
Drama
Romance of the Western Chamber Hou Yao Adaption of the classic Chinese dramatic work by Wang Shifu
Seeking Love on the Field of Romance Cheng Bugao Han Yunzhen Drama
Shandong Bandits Qian Xuefan Zheng Chaofan
Xu Qinfang
Action
Spring Dream by the Lake Bu Wancang Gong Jianong
Yang Naimei
Drama
Tablet of Blood and Tears Zheng Zhengqiu Ding Ziming
Ruan Lingyu
Tragedy
Tian Qilang Zhang Shichuan Zhang Huichong
The Wandering Songstress Ouyang Yuqian Li Dandan Tragedy
The Woman Lawyer Qiu Qixiang Hu Die Drama Adapted from The Merchant of Venice
Yang Guifei Dan Duyu He Rongzhu Drama Story of legendary imperial concubine Yang Guifei
1928
A Complicated Plot Lu Jie Li Minghui
Zhou Wenzhu
Chen Yishang
Drama Released in two parts
A Luminous Pearl Shao Zuiweng Chen Yumei Crime
A Shanghai Dance Hostess Wang Cilong Zhou Wenzhu
Wang Naidong
Drama
A Stressful Wedding Cheng Bugao Hu Die
Zheng Xiaoqiu
A Traveler's Strange Tale Chen Tian Wu Suxin
Zhang Huimin
Action/Adventure
A Young Detective Bu Wancang Gao Zhanfei Crime
An Ardent Couple Jiang Qifeng Tang Tianxiu Romance
Ashes of the Lotus Bu Wancang Xiao Ying
Yang Naimei
War
The Beloved Wan Laitian Li Minghui
Wan Laitian
Sun Min
Romance
Burning of the Red Lotus Temple Zheng Zhengqiu (pt.1)
Zhang Shichuan (pts.2-19)
Zheng Xiaoqiu
Xia Peizhen
Action First of what would eventually be 19 parts. Adapted from a martial arts novel by Pingjiang Buxiaosheng
Dream of the Red Chamber Cheng Shuren Xia Peizhen
Yin Mingzhu
Drama
Evil's Shadow Yang Xiaozhong Yang Aili Action Adapted from a section of Journey to the West
Fabulous Swordsman Wang Yuanlong Wang Yuanlong
Tang Tianxiu
Action
Five Avenging Women Gao Xiping Lin Chuchu
Li Dandan
Yan Shanshan
Crime
The Flying Hero Chen Tian Zhang Huimin
Wu Suxin
Action/Adventure
The Flying Shoes Pan Chuitong Adapted from a German children's story
Four Heroes of the Wang Family Shi Dongshan Wang Yuanlong Action
The Girl Detective Zhang Shichuan Hu Die Crime
The Great Swordsman's Revenge Zhang Shichuan Xiao Ying
Hu Die
Action Remade in Hong Kong in 1949
Guanyin Receives the Way Lin Chuchu
Li Dandan
The Miao Shan legend version of Guanyin
He and She Wen Yimin Fan Xuepeng
Wen Yimin
Action Alternate title: "Jianghu Lovers"
Heritage of Trouble Zhu Shaoquan Fan Xuepeng
Wen Yimin
Hero Gan Fengchi Yang Xiaozhong Wang Guiling
Yang Aili
Action
The Heroine in Black Zheng Zhengqiu
Cheng Bugao
Ding Ziming
Zheng Xiaoqiu
Action
The Heroine Saves a Lady Zheng Zhengqiu Hu Die Action
Imperial Concubine Yang of Beijing Zheng Zhengqiu Yang Naimei
Ruan Lingyu
Drama The Yang Guifei story, retold in a modern setting
It's Me Zhu Shouju Wang Naidong
Tang Tianxiu
Crime
Kick Zhang Shichuan
Hong Shen
Ding Ziming
Gong Jianong
Romance First Chinese film having sports as a background. Alternate title: "Classmates' Romance"
The King of Money Jiang Qifeng Zhou Wenzhu Crime
Luoyang Bridge Zhang Shichuan Zhu Fei
Ruan Lingyu
Adapted from the classical opera "Number One Scholar Cai Builds the Luoyang Bridge", the story of early structural engineer Cai Xiang
Ma Zhenhua Zhu Shouju
Wang Cilong
Zhou Wenzhu
Wang Cilong
Drama
Marriage for Peace Zhu Shouju Historical Drama
The Mountain of Fire Yang Xiaozhong Yang Aili
Wang Guilin
Mulan Joins the Army Hou Yao Li Dandan War
My Love Became My Stepmother Wang Yuanlong Tan Xuerong
Wang Yuanlong
Northeast China Hero Ren Pengnian Action
Patriotic Souls Zheng Jiduo Zheng Jiduo
Tang Tianxiu
Drama One of China's first "Resistance films", urging opposition to Japanese encroachment on Chinese territory.
Reviving Romance Gao Xiping Lin Chuchu
Li Dandan
Yan Shanshan
Drama
Robin Hood Dan Duyu Dan Erchun
He Rongzhu
Action Story of the legendary folk hero, transplanted to China
Robin Hood Wipes Out the Monster Dan Duyu Dan Erchun
He Rongzhu
Action Sequel. Alternate title: "The Towering Demon"
Romance on the Battlefield Li Minwei
Pan Chuitong
War/Romance
Secret History of the Qing Court Wang Cilong Zhou Wenzhu
Wang Cilong
Historical Drama
Shadows in the Imperial Palace Jiang Qifeng Zhou Wenzhu
Chen Yitang
Adapted from an episode in Journey to the West
She Wants to be Free Zhang Weishou Yang Naimei
Silver Gun Bandit Wang Yuanlong Wang Yuanlong
Zhou Wenzhu
Crime Alternate title: "Who But Myself Can Do It?"
The Spider Gang Mei Xuechou Sun Min Crime
Strange Knight Sun Yu Sun Min
Yan Yuexian
Action
Strange Lady Shi Dongshan Yang Naimei
Zhu Fei
Gao Zhanfei
The True and False Monkey King Li Zeyuan Adapted from a section of Journey to the West
Two Swords Chen Kengran Xu Qinfang Action
The Tyrant Huang Tian Takes a Wife Lei Yutian Han Yuqing
Wang Guiling
Drama
White Cloud Pagoda Zheng Zhengqiu Zheng Xiaoqiu
Hu Die
Ruan Lingyu
Drama Released in two parts
Wu Song Sheds Blood in Mandarin Duck Tower Yang Xiaozhong Wang Zhengqing Action Based on a story in Water Margin
The Young Mistress's Fan Hong Shen,
Zhang Shichuan
Xuan Jinglin Adapted from Lady Windemere's Fan by Oscar Wilde
1929
A Clever Fool Mei Xuechou Xu Xizhen Comedy
A Duel of Swordsmen Shi Dongshan Gao Zhanfei
Ma-Xu Weibang
Hu Shan
Action
A Girl Bandit Zhang Huimin Wu Suxin
Zhang Huimin
Crime/Action
A Roving Hero Hu Zongli Hu Zongli Action/Adventure
A Strange Hero Saves the Nation Wang Cilong Wang Yuanlong
Tang Tianxiu
Action/Romance
A Woman's Heart Li Pingqian Ruan Lingyu Drama
After the Robbery Li Pingqian Ruan Lingyu
Li Pingqian
Tragedy
An Actress's Revenge Bu Wancang Wang Hanlun
Gao Zhanfei
Drama Alternate title: Blind Love
An Adopted Daughter Zhang Huimin Wu Suxin
Zhang Huimin
Action/Romance
An Orphan Zhang Huimin Wu Suxin
Zhang Huimin
Drama/Action
Beauty Under the Blade Zheng Zhengqiu Han Yunzhen
Zhu Fei
Drama
Blood of the Lovers Cheng Bugao Hu Die
Zheng Xiaoqiu
Drama
Black Cat Wang Yuanlong Wang Yuanlong
Zhang Meiyu
Action
Burning of Seven Star Mansion Yu Boan Qian Siying Action First of a five-part series, released 1929-30.
The Candy Beauty Chen Baoqi Yuan Congmei Drama
The Camel King Wang Yuanlong Tang Tianxiu
Wang Yuanlong
Detective No.55 Wang Yuanlong Wang Yuanlong
Tang Tianxiu
Crime
The Detective's Wife Zhang Huimin Wu Suxin
Zhang Huimin
Crime
The Devil Incarnate Ma-Xu Weibang Ma-Xu Weibang Horror
The Diamond Case Dan Duyu Yin Mingzhu
Dan Erchun
Adventure
Divorce Cheng Bugao Gong Jianong
Hu Die
Zheng Xiaoqiu
Drama Adapted from the novel of the same name by Lao She. Remade in 1992.
Done With One Heart Bu Wancang Ding Ziming
Encounter in a Poor Village Zhang Feifan Yan Yuexian
Yang Aili
Action/Romance
Escape From the Tiger's Mouth Zhu Shaochuan Fan Xuepeng
Shang Guanwu
Action
Fabulous General Shi Dongshan Chen Yumei
Gao Zhanfei
Action Alternate title: The River Hero Stabs the Tiger
Flower of the Silver Screen Zheng Jiduo Ruan Lingyu
Zheng Jiduo
Tragedy
Flying Heroine Lü Sanniang Yang Xiaozhong Tang Tianxiu Action
Four Heroes of the Wang Family, II Wang Yuanlong Wang Yuanlong
Jin Yan
Action Sequel to the 1928 film of the same title
The Greatest Hero Shao Zuiweng Zhang Huichong
Xu Sue
Gao Zhanfei
Action
The Head Lost at Midnight Jiang Qifeng Tang Tianxiu Action
Hero in the Flames Zhang Huimin Wu Suxin
Zhang Huimin
Action Alternate title: Fireman
Heroine in Red Wen Yimin Fan Xuepeng
Wen Yimin
Action
Hot-Blooded Man Wan Laitian Wan Laitian
Yang Aili
Gao Zhanfei
Romance Alternate title: Her Love
Kisses Once Xie Yunqing Tang Tianxiu
Chen Yitang
The Life of the Rich Cheng Bugao Hu Die
Zhu Fei
Drama
Miscarriage of Justice Wang Yuanlong Wang Yuanlong
Tang Tianxiu
Alternate title: The Frame-Up
My Son Was a Hero Yang Xiaozhong Liu Jiqun Action/Adventure Alternate title: Poor Daddy. Oldest surviving full-length Chinese film.
Nights of Terror Zhang Huimin Wu Suxin
Zhang Huimin
Suspense
Papa Loves Mama Cheng Bugao Hu Die
Xia Peizhen
Gong Jianong
Drama
Passion's Precious Mirror Li Pingqian Ruan Lingyu
Zheng Jiduo
Drama
Petty Tyrant Zhang Chong Zhang Huichong Xu Sue
Zhang Huichong
Released in two parts
Pirates Li Shaohua Xu Xuzhen Action
Repentance Zhang Shichuan Gong Jianong
Han Yunzhen
Zhu Fei
Drama
Romantic Swordsman Sun Yu Gao Qianping
Jin Yan
Action/Romance Alternate title: The Rose and the Lady. First lead role for Jin Yan, 1930s matinee idol.
Secret Anguish Chen Kengran
Sister I Love You Dan Duyu Yin Mingzhu
Dan Erchun
Comedy
Strange Hero in a Desolate Village Zhang Huimin Wu Suxin
Zhang Huimin
Action
Tears and Flowers Zheng Zhengqiu
Cheng Bugao
Hu Die
Gong Jianong
Xia Peizhen
Released in two parts. Alternate title: Huang Lu's Romance
Under the Iron Heel Wang Yuanlong Wang Yuanlong Alternate title: In Hell
White Mouse Wang Yuanlong Wang Yuanlong
Tang Tianxiu
Who Is the Thief? Wang Cilong Tang Tianxiu
Wang Zhengxin
Women Pirates Zheng Jiduo Lin Meiru
Zheng Jiduo
Young Compatriots on the Battlefield Zheng Zhengqiu Zheng Xiaoqiu
Gao Qianping
Young Hero Liu Jin Cheng Bugao Zheng Xiaoqiu Action

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://people.cohums.ohio-state.edu/denton2/courses/c505/temp/history/chapter2.html
  2. ^ http://www.menggang.com/movie/experiment/china/zhangshichuan/zhiguoyuan/zhiguoyuan.html
  3. ^ a b c http://chinesecinema.ucsd.edu/essay_ccwlc.html

External links[edit]