Laborer's Love

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Laborer's Love
(aka Romance of a Fruit Peddler)
Directed by Zhang Shichuan
Written by Zheng Zhengqiu
Starring Zheng Zhegu
Zheng Zhengqiu
Yu Ying
Cinematography Zhang Weitao
Release date
  • 1922 (1922)
Running time
30 minutes
Country China
Language Silent film
Written Chinese and English intertitles

Laborer's Love (Chinese: 劳工之爱情; pinyin: Laogong zhi aiqing) is a 1922 short film produced in China, and premiered October 5, 1922 at the Olympic Theater in Shanghai.[1] It is also known as Romance of a Fruit Peddler or Romance of a Fruit Pedlar (Chinese: 掷果缘; pinyin: Zhi guo yuan) and as "Cheng the Fruit Seller".[2] It constitutes the earliest complete film from China's early cinematic history that survives today.[3] The film was also one of the earliest productions of the soon-to-be prolific Mingxing Film Company and was directed and written by Mingxing co-founders Zhang Shichuan and Zheng Zhengqiu, respectively.

Notably, the film had both Chinese and English intertitles; a clear indication that at this early point in its history, cinema in Shanghai was made not only for the Chinese, but for the many Westerners residing there as well.[4]

In 2007, Australian ensemble Blue Grassy Knoll wrote a new score for Labourer's Love, and performed it live in Shanghai and Beijing as part of the Australian Theatre Festival.


An unemployed carpenter finds temporary work selling fruit from a pushcart. He meets and falls for a doctor's daughter, but her father opposes the relationship due to the young man's humble station, but he will approve a suitor who helps to rescue his failing medical practice. The carpenter restructures the staircase to a gambling club outside the doctor's office so that it collapses whenever anyone walks on it. The resulting number of injured seeking treatment so increases the doctor's income that he gladly accepts the carpenter as his son-in-law.



  1. ^ Huang, Zhiwei. Old Shanghai Movies (In Chinese). Shanghai: Wen Hui Press, 1998, p.5. ISBN 9787805315416
  2. ^ Cornelius, Sheila (2002). New Chinese Cinema: Challenging Representations. London and New York: Wallflower. p. 74. ISBN 1 903364 13 2. 
  3. ^ "A Brief History of Chinese Film". Ohio State University. Archived from the original on 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  4. ^ Martin Geiselmann (2006). "Chinese Film History - A Short Introduction" (PDF). The University of Vienna- Sinologie Program. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 

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