Dream of the Red Chamber (1987 TV series)
|Dream of the Red Chamber
|Starring||Ouyang Fenqiang as Jia Baoyu
Chen Xiaoxu as Lin Daiyu
Zhang Li as Xue Baochai
Deng Jie as Wang Xifeng
|Country of origin||China|
|No. of episodes||36|
Dream of the Red Chamber (Chinese: 红楼梦; pinyin: Hónglóu Mèng), released in 1987, was a television series produced by CCTV adapted from the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. It gained enormous popularity with its superb music, cast, and plot adaptation. It was first filmed in Beijing in Mandarin. Then it was translated into Cantonese, Shanghainese, and other languages and aired in the rest of China. It is 36 episodes long.
The TV series is regarded by many within China as being a near-definitive adaptation of the novel. A TV remake of the novel started airing in 2010; however, much objection was raised over the unorthodox costume design and other contested interpretations.
The series follows the plot of Cao Xueqin's novel Dream of the Red Chamber. The series begins with the mother-less child, Lin Daiyu - whose beauty and intelligence surpasses all - moving into the family compound of her maternal grandmother in the capital. There, the child meets numerous relatives, one of whom is Jia Baoyu, her mother's nephew and male protagonist. Baoyu was borne with a jade tablet in his mouth and, so, is treated like a fragile egg and spoiled by his grandmother. He often spends his time with his female cousins and maids instead of tending to his studies. In addition to Daiyu, one of the cousins he spends time with the most is the tactful Xue Baochai.
As the story goes on, Baoyu and Daiyu eventually fall in love with each other, but Daiyu is not very well liked by the family and, instead, the family members favor Baochai. Eventually, Baoyu and Baochai are forced to marry, and Daiyu dies of a broken heart. The series ends with the Emperor confiscating the Jia family properties and the family members scattered, some to their own tragic end. While some of the members do eventually reunite, Baoyu leaves the village to become a monk.
Many famous scenes from the novel are adapted in incredible accuracy in the serial. Such scenes include Daiyu Weeps Over Falling Blossoms, The Theory of Gold and Jade, and The Profligate Secretly Takes Second Sister Yu as a Concubine. On the other hand, much of the mystical elements in the novel was not filmed due to the social-political environment of the times.
The serial contains 36 episodes spanning the novel.
- Daiyu Parted With Her Father and Went to the Capital
- Baoyu, Daiyu, and Baochai's First Meeting at the Hall of Glorious Pageant
- Granny Liu Pays Her First Visit to the Jung Mansion
- Daiyu Feels Slight Jealous While meeting Baoyu at Baochai's Home
- Xifeng Sets a Vicious Trap for a Lover
- Xifeng Helps to Manage Affairs at the Ning Mansion
- Literary Talent Tested By Composing Inscriptions for Grandview Garden
- Jung Mansion Had the Imperial Consort's Visitation on the Feast of Lanterns
- A Sweet Girl Shows Deep Feeling One Quiet Day
- A Song Awakes Baoyu to Esoteric Truths
- Meeting a Nightmare In Seeking After Favor
- Daiyu Weeps at Falling Petals
- The Fortune Enjoys Deep Fortune and Long Life
- Chin-chuan Dies a Heroic Death in Shame
- Baoyu Was Beaten For Flirting
- Granny Liu Pays a Visit to Grandview Garden
- Xifeng Taken by Surprise Gives Ways to Jealousy
- Yuanyang Vows Never to Marry
- White Snow and Red Plum-Blossum in the Glassy World
- Plucky Qingwen Mends a Peacock-Feather Cape in Bed
- An Evening Banquet on the Feast of Lanterns in the Jung Mansion
- Ping'er Wields Authority to Right a Wrong
- Artful Zijuan Tests Baoyu's Feelings
- Girls Feast at Night in Happy Red Court
- The Profligate Secretly Takes Second Sister Yu as a Concubine
- Xifeng in Jealousy Makes a Scene in the Ning Mansion
- Lady Hsing Feels Wronged and Puts Xifeng in Wrong
- Strange Omen Occurs at Night Banquet
- Spoony Childe Writes a Dirge on Cottonrose Hibiscus
- Drifting Away of Fair Maidens From Grandview Garden
- Sprirtual Jade Was Stolen During a Bustling Feast
- Grieving Over Tanchun's Departure to Marry Far from Home
- Astonished by the Heavy News of the Death of Daiyu
- Forced Xifeng Resigned Herself to a Fate Spread East of Bed-Curtain
- Collapsed Mansion Comes to an End
- A Vast and White Expanse of Immerse Universe
- Ouyang Fenqiang as Jia Baoyu
- Chen Xiaoxu as Lin Daiyu
- Zhang Li as Xue Baochai
- Cheng Mei as Jia Yuanchun
- Dongfang Wenying as Jia Tanchun
- Guo Xiaozhen as Shi Xiangyun
- Ji Yu (former name Ji Peijie) as Miaoyu
- Deng Jie as Wang Xifeng
- Jin Lili as Jia Yingchun
- Zhang Lei as Qin Keqing
- Shen Ling as Ping'er
- An Wen (former name Zhang Jinglin) as Qingwen
- Yuan Mei as Xiren
- Gao Liang as Jia Lian
- Zhou Xianzhen as Lady Wang
- Wu Xiaodong as Jia Yun
- Yang Junyong as Jia Rong
Reception and soundtrack
The 1987 series was originally somewhat controversial as few Redologists believe any TV adaptation could do full justice to the novel. Producer and director Wang Fulin's choice of employing non-professional youths were vindicated as the TV series gained enormous popularity in China.
The series' success owes much to composer Wang Liping (王立平). He set many of the novel's classical verses to music, taking as long as four years to deliberate some compositions.
- Dream of Red Mansions, CNTV online complete video, free and legal streaming (Chinese)
- 'A Dream of Red Mansions TV Serial by CCTV (DVD)'
- Dream of the Red Chamber
红楼梦 at the Internet Movie Database