Song at Midnight (夜半歌聲)


The first Chinese horror film, directed by Ma-Xu Weibang in 1937. Subtitles:

Song at Midnight () (also known as Singing at Midnight or literally Voice of Midnight) is a 1937 in film film directed by Ma-Xu Weibang. Often erred to as the first Chinese horror film, Song at Midnight is a remake/adaptation of Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera, though the film injects a significant political subplot involving the leftist revolutionary movement to the original story.
The film stars Gu Menghe, Zhou Wenzhu, and Jin Shan as the disfigured anti-hero Song Danping. Ma-Xu made one Song at Midnight 2 to Song at Midnight in 1941 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Both films resurfaced in the West at the Udine Far East Film Festival in 1998.<></> Since then, the film has been shown at various film festivals around the world, notably at the 62nd Venice International Film Festival's "Secret History of Chinese Cinema" retrospective.


Today the film is well regarded, and was named as one of the best 100 Chinese films by both the Hong Kong Film Awards#Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures in 2005 in film, and by Asia Weekly in 1999.<></>
Song at Midnight has also been remade twice. The first remake, translated as The Mid-Nightmare is a two-parter by Hong Kong director, Yuan Qiuxia, released in 1962 (part I) and 1963 (part II). It stars Betty Loh Ti and Lao Zhei. In 1995, Song at Midnight was remade yet again, this time as The Phantom Lover by Ronny Yu, with Leslie Cheung in the role of Song Danping.


  • Gu Menghe
  • Hu Ping
  • Jin Shan
  • Yee Chau-shui
  • Zhou Wenzhu

DVD release

As part of their Chinese film retrospective, Cinema Epoch released Song at Midnight on DVD regions DVD on May 8, 2007. The DVD includes subtitles in English.
An earlier DVD edition by the Guangzhou Beauty Culture Communication Co. Ltd was released on December 1, 2006 in the United States.
  • Song at Midnight at the Chinese Movie Database
  • Song at Midnight] at the

    Category:1930s horror films
    Category:1937 films
    Category:Black-and-white films
    Category:Chinese films
    Category:Chinese horror films
    Category:Films based on works by Gaston Leroux
    Category:Films directed by Ma-Xu Weibang

  • 3.33
    Has never been protected by copyright due to its age -- the first Chinese copyright law was passed in 1990 and applied 50 years retroactively.

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