With its new equipment and staff training from Universal Pictures, the Commercial Press paved the way for China's newly-emerging industry at the start of the 1920s, with all seven Chinese productions released in 1920 from that one studio.
Che Zhong Dao (1920) 车中盗 (Railway Robbers)
Commercial Press. Direction: Ren Pengnian. Screenplay: Chen Chunsheng, adapted from an American detective story. Cinematography: Liao Enshou. Cast: Ding Yuanyi, Ren Pengnian, Bao Guirong, Zhang Shouwu.
Note: The actual English title of the source story is not recorded: Chen Chunsheng later said he based his adaptation on an American detective story titled (in Chinese) 《火车行动》 ("The Railway Action") in a collection titled 《焦头烂额》, which might be translated as "Badly Battered" or "In a Big Fix".
Two men recently released from prison for armed robbery overhear in a bar that on a certain day, the owner of an iron company will be traveling by train to his foundry carrying silver to be paid as wages. They plot to steal the silver, and on the day, board the train and sit near the owner. When the train stops at a small station, they seize the opportunity to grab his bag and flee the train. They hide the loot in the cellar of a female accomplice. The chief of police asks a famous detective to consult on the case. He goes through many dangers, and with a clue provided by a girl flower seller, finds where the silver is hidden and brings the thieves to justice.
Chunxiang Nao Xue (1920) 春香闹学 (Chunxiang Disturbs the Studies)
Commercial Press. 300m. Direction: Mei Lanfang. Cinematography: Liao Enshou. Cast: Mei Lanfang (Chunxiang), Yao Yuxiao (Du Liniang), Li Shoushan (Chen Zuiliang).
Classical opera excerpt. Magistrate Du, an important official, invites Chen Zuiliang, an old-style private tutor, to teach poetry and writing to Du's daughter Liniang and her companion, a girl named Chunxiang. But Chunxiang is too fond of play, and when Mr. Chen criticizes her, instead of being ashamed she unexpectedly teases him. This so angers the teacher he threatens to resign, but decides to stay after Liniang mollifies him with sweet talk.
Huang Shan De Jin (1920) 荒山得金 (Gold in the Wasteland)
Commercial Press. 7 reels. Action. Direction: Ren Pengnian. Screenplay: Chen Chunsheng. Cinematography: Liao Enshou. Cast: Zhang Shengwu (Song Jinlang), Bao Guirong (Liu Yichun), Hong Jingling (Liu Youquan), Wang Guilin (old man on neighboring boat).
After bandits raid and destroy his family's home, a young man, Song Jinlang, becomes a drifter. He is taken in by boatman Liu Youquan, who gives him a job. The young man's work and concern for others so impresses everyone that he soon is married to the boss's daughter. All is well until the bandits reach their area and begin preying upon the people who live along the river. Jinlang draws on his own experience to lead the river people in resistance. They trap the bandits in a cave and wipe them all out.
Li Da Shao (1920) 李大少 (The Li Family Scion)
Commercial Press. 2 reels. Direction: Ren Pengnian. Screenplay: Chen Chunsheng. Cinematography: Liao Enshou. Cast: Ding Yuanyi, Zhang Shengwu, Bao Guirong, Hong Jingling.
Meng Huitou (1920) 猛回头 (Sudden Turnaround)
Commercial Press. 2 reels. Direction: Ren Pengnian. Screenplay: Chen Chunsheng. Cinematography: Liao Enshou. Cast: Ding Yuanyi, Bao Guirong, Zhang Shengwu.
An unfilial son hears of the filial actions of another, which so moves him he resolves to mend his ways and becomes a filial son.
Pipa Ji (1920) 琵琶记 (Pipa Story)
Commercial Press. Unfinished. Cast: Zhou Yanfang, Wang Lingzhu. Plot unavailable.
Tiannü San Hua (1920) 天女散花 (The Angel Scatters the Flowers)
Commercial Press. 300m. Direction: Mei Lanfang. Cinematography: Liao Enshou. Cast: Mei Lanfang (the angel), Yao Yuxiao (the servant), Li Shoushan (Wei-Mo-Gu).
Classical opera excerpt, based on a Buddhist story.