The Red Plum Pavilion
- ScreenwriterTong Tik-sang
Songbo Huang, a high official in the Bureau of Investigation, has an ugly and sickly second son, Shouqian, who became his heir after the premature death of his first and third sons. The disfavored fourth son, PeiHua, and sister Hongmei, live apart from the estate.
A beautiful entertainer, Xie Yuxiang, is fooled into marrying the ugly Shouqian. When she sees that she has been tricked, she flees the forced marriage and finds refuge at the adjacent household, where the siblings PeiHua and Hongmei (meaning Red Plum) provide safe haven.
ChenYanqing attempts to force himself upon Yuxiang, but is caught by Hongmei's lover, XieYoulian, who stabs him to death. The two women then dispose of the corpse in a dry well. The act is discovered by the on-looking Shouqian, who frames PeiHua and Yuxiang for adultery and murder.
At court, Huang puts Yuxiang under torture to force her to confess to all of the crimes. PeiHua, seeing that his future as an official is already doomed, willingly admits to guilt in her stead. Fortunately, Appellate Judges Qian and Zuo Liangyu, in view of PeiHua's pristine record and reputation for righteousness, set him free by having a death row inmate act as his substitute.
As he is about to consummate his marriage to Yuxiang, Shouqian finds a prescription left by PeiHua for treating his sickness. He is touched by his brother’s honor and love, and decides to release the bride. As the freed bride is mourning for the supposedly executed PeiHua, she sees instead a saber-wielding escapee bent on revenge. At the moment of his death, Shouqian reveals the truth to the family, while HongMei convinces her lover, the true killer, to turn himself in. True love prevails.
(Translated by Loretta Ling Yeung)