Thousand Pieces of Gold (1991)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Produced on a shoestring $2 million budget, documentary director Nancy Kelly and her husband, editor Kenji Yamamoto created this romantic western based on a true story. Rosalind Chao stars as Lalu Nathoy, a young woman sold into marriage by her impoverished father in late 19th century China. Lalu is transported to the U.S. by a slave trader, Jim (Dennis Dun), on whom she develops a crush. Although conflicted, Jim fulfills his professional obligation to deliver Lalu to Hong King (Michael Paul Chan), a saloon owner in a rough Idaho mining town. Refusing to participate in Hong King's plan to make her into an exotic prostitute, Lalu keeps her dignity about her and wins the adoration of Charlie (Chris Cooper), Hong King's white, alcoholic partner. Despite the prejudice of the locals, Lalu becomes a cleaning woman and a successful laundress. Though she dreams of marriage to Jim or escape to China, she recognizes Charlie's admirable qualities after a violent incident that casts him in a different light.
Drama , Western
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Hemdale Home Video

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Rosalind Chao
as Lalu/Polly
Chris Cooper
as Charlie Bemis
Michael Paul Chan
as Hong King
Will Oldham
as Miles
Kim Chan
as Li Ping
Evan C. Kim
as Shun Lee
Freda Foh Shen
as Ah Ling
Mary Matvy
as Francoise
Mary Beth Lee
as Li Yuan
as Li Ma
Ron Dorn
as John Span
Danny Wong
as Buyer
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Critic Reviews for Thousand Pieces of Gold

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1)

Rosalind Chao's performance is a wonder -- the sort that, in a conventional Hollywood epic, would inspire Oscar speculation.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Quote not available.

August 14, 2005

Quote not available.

August 22, 2003
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Audience Reviews for Thousand Pieces of Gold


The story is told with power and high drama, however, and the love that grows between Lalu and Charlie, like all loves that smoulder for a long time, becomes a great passion. And Rosalind Chao's performance is a wonder - the sort that, in a conventional Hollywood epic, would inspire Oscar speculation.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

Very good, heart warming of a woman who was sold from China from her family and would not be a whore in a mining town. She worked as a slave until one day a man gambled and won her freedom. She gained respect from the town, and later lived out her life on her own homestead.

Catie Liz Mac
Catie Liz Mac

Hhhmm. I like Chris Cooper and I liked him together with Rosalind Chao. It felt like the story was there but I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I don't know what it was that kept me from liking it more.

sloopy chicken lips  (aka Cynthia)
sloopy chicken lips (aka Cynthia)

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