The Immortal Movie King—Ou Wei

Star Cinemas

Execution in Autumn

Publish: Ta Chung Motion Picture Company
Director: Li Hsing
Cast: Ou Wei, Tang Bao Yun, Ge Xiang Ting, Wu Jia Ji, Fu Bi Hui
Year of Publication: 1972
Awards: Best Feature Film in the10th Golden Horse Awards
Li Hsing—Best Director
Ou Wei —Best Leading Actor

Execution in Autumn was a story describing a man named Pei Kong, who had been much spoiled by his grandma since his childhood. Because he killed three people in a row, he was sentenced to death. Being in jail, he had to wait for his execution in the following autumn. Nevertheless, he was the only child in his family, so his grandma finally came upon an idea to provide a bride for his condemned grandson so that the Pei may have an offspring.
The would-be bride or rather victim was Lien Er, a very charming girl brought up in the Pei family. The warden at first refused to go along with this preposterous arrangement but Grandma bribed the warden, talking him into letting the bride stay for the night with his grandson. Pei Kong was frequently visited by his bribe and he was influenced and touched by Lien Er’s kind and tender disposition—he became a new man, regretting what he had done. He loved Lien Er dearly, who was expecting. Seeing this, the sympathetic warden wanted to help him to escape with his wife, but he refused the offer absolutely; he didn’t want his wife to live a humiliating life and escape with him for the rest of her life. Instead, he accepted the death penalty calmly.
This film was one of Director Li’s most remarkable works, in which he dealt with motifs including traditional Chinese culture; morality and philosophy also remained in it. Specifically, the film transmitted traditional Chinese women’s commitment to sacrifice and virtues, discussing the issue of reflection and correction after making mistakes—repentance should be emphasized more than punishment. The film was Director Li’s classic masterpiece and also a milestone in his movie career.
The leading role in the film was the one Ou Wei had been eager for a long time. Meanwhile, because he knew Director Li expected a lot from the film, he refused all the other contracts just to wait for it. He even changed the foot chain into a 30-kilo weight iron-made one, with bleeding frayed ankles, just to make the scene feel real. The spirit won him respect from the crew and admiration from the spectators. Ou Wei also gained his second Golden Horse movie king due to this film.