Drama / Kino Lorber / Western

Thousand Pieces of Gold (1990) 4K Blu-ray: A frontier drama

Kino Lorber is releasing Director Nancy Kelly’s compelling eastern/western drama, Thousand Pieces of Gold (1990) on a restored 4K Blu-ray.

Set in a mining town in the 1880s, Thousand Pieces of Gold was developed by the Sundance Institute and premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 1990. After its theatrical release, Thousand Pieces of Gold aired on the PBS American Playhouse series, the UK’s Film Four and around the world. Based on the classic novel by Ruthanne Lum McCunn, the film’s screenplay was written by award-winning novelist and filmmaker Anne Makepeace (Tribal Justice).

It won immediate acclaim for its portrayal of the real-life story of Lalu (Rosalind Chao), a young Chinese woman whose desperately poor parents sell her into slavery. She is trafficked to a nefarious saloonkeeper in Idaho’s gold country. Eventually Charlie, a man of different ilk, played by Chris Cooper, wins her in a poker game and slowly gains her trust.

Way ahead of its time, the film resonates even more powerfully today in the era of #MeToo. But Nancy Kelly became a victim of prejudice against women directors within the American film industry and was never offered another movie to direct in spite of extraordinary reviews from critics, some of whom compared her talent to that of John Ford.

Release date: May 26, 2020
Genre: Western

Disc and film details

  • Director: Nancy Kelly
  • Cast: Rosalind Chao, Chris Cooper, Michael Paul Chan
  • Country: USA
  • Production Year: 1990
  • Discs: 1 Blu-ray Disc
  • Region: A
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Formats: Color / 4K / 1.78:1
  • Audio: English
  • Subtitle: None
  • AKA: American Playhouse: Thousand Pieces of Gold
  • Studio: Kino Lorber

Special features

  • Radio interview with director Nancy Kelly (courtesy of Chinamerica Radio)
  • Audio commentary with Nancy Kelly and producer Kenji Yamamoto
  • Booklet essay by screenwriter and filmmaker Anne Makepeace
  • Trailer

Thousand Pieces of Gold (1990) trailer

Notice: The picture quality of these videos do not reflect the picture quality of the Blu-ray or DVD in this package.

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