Like many veterans from the Shanghai film industry of the 1930s, Sun had endless political problems once the communists took power; he made few films after 1949 and none which recaptured the sexy, exuberant qualities of his pre-war classics. Lu Ban (his penultimate film) is the best of them, a celebration of the legendary father of Chinese architecture as a self-effacing man of the people. It imagines three episodes from Lu Ban's wanderings around China two millennia ago. In each, he comes upon a building or design problem in the making, obliquely provides the craftsmen with the solution and then slips away without waiting for credit or thanks. Devoid of Maoist propaganda, the film is enjoyable for Sun's simple, elegant mise en scène and for its historical naturalism. Wei (the prostitute's lover in Street Angel, twenty years earlier) plays Lu Ban with real charm and grace.