Wu Yonggang

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Wu Yonggang
Born(1907-11-01)November 1, 1907
Shanghai, China
DiedDecember 18, 1982(1982-12-18) (aged 75)
OccupationFilm director
Years active1930s-1980s
AwardsGolden Rooster AwardsBest Picture
1981 Evening Rain

Chinese name
Traditional Chinese吳永剛
Simplified Chinese吴永刚

Wu Yonggang (November 1, 1907 – December 18, 1982) was a prominent Chinese film director during the 1930s. Today Wu is best known for his directorial debut, The Goddess. Wu had a long career with the Lianhua Film Company in the 1930s, in Chongqing during the war, and in the mainland after the 1949 communist revolution.[1]


Wu Yonggang was born in Shanghai in 1907, but was considered a native of his ancestral home Wu County, Jiangsu in Chinese convention.[2] Wu Yonggang was one of the major leftist film directors of pre-Communist China. For the early part of his career, Wu was a set designer with Dazhonghua Baihe, before transferring to the Shaw Brothers' Tianyi Film Company.[3] He was eventually noticed by Shi Dongshan at the newly formed Lianhua Film Company.[1] His first film from the director's chair, 1934's The Goddess (under contract with Lianhua), earned both him and the film's star, Ruan Lingyu, rave reviews. A prolific director, Wu continued to make films well into the 1970s until his retirement shortly before his death including Evening Rain (co-directed with Wu Yigong) which won Best Picture at the first annual Golden Rooster Awards.

Acclaimed director Chen Kaige referred to Wu Yonggang as one of his most admired directors, and named The Goddess as his favorite film of the 1930s.[4]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year English Title Chinese Title Notes
1934 The Goddess 神女
1935 Little Angel 小天使
1936 The Desert Island 浪淘沙
1936 The Pioneers 壮志凌云 Also known as Soaring Aspirations
1938 Rouge Tears 胭脂泪 Wu's remake of his own debut The Goddess for the Xinhua Film Company
1946 Loyal Family 忠义之家
1947 Waiting for Spring 迎春曲
1947 Decision of a Lifetime 终生大事
1950 The Far Away Village 遥远的乡村
1952 Hasen and Jiamila 哈森与加米拉
1956 Qiu Meets the Goddess of Flowers 秋翁遇仙记
1980 Evening Rain 巴山夜雨 Co-directed with Wu Yigong


  1. ^ a b "Chinese Cinema". UCSD Chinese Cinema Web-based Learning Center. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
  2. ^ Wu Yonggang 2005-07-02
  3. ^ Zhang Yingjin, "Prostitution and Urban Imagination" in Cinema and Urban Culture in Shanghai, 1922–1943, ed. Yingjin Zhang (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), 167.
  4. ^ "The Buffalo Film Series- Wu Yonggang-The Goddess/Shen Nu" (PDF). The University at Buffalo. 2006-01-24. Retrieved 2007-05-03.

External links[edit]