The painter Jiang Tao (Wang Hao) and his model, Ah Cui (Hu Die) are both from a modest background. The portrait of Ah Cui Jiang is called “the image of youth”. Their feeling is a mutual blessing. There are no objections then this budding romance, apart from the argument that Ah Cui is too frivolous.
During an exhibition, Jiang found his former classmate Ding (SHU Shi). Rich and full of respect for the talent Jiang, Ding not only buys several paintings, but he also holds a reception to make it known to the collectors. Ah Cui falls in love with Ding. When his father came to fetch his daughter in his house, along with Jiang, he discovers his daughter unconscious. He is so shocked, he has a heart attack.
Before the father dies, Ding agrees to marry her. But nothing works in this marriage. The father of Ding (BAI Chen) is dissatisfied with this, trying all he can to humiliate the young woman. Xiaofeng, the girl that Ding had with his first wife, and the rest of the family rejects her.
Finally Ding goes to live with his daughter in Beijing, without taking Ah Cui whose young years pass in solitude now. When her husband finally reappears almost a decade later, she sacrifices herself to save the honor of Xiaofeng. But she still remains lonely.
Zhu Shilin (1899-1967) is is one of the most eminent personalities of Chinese cinema. He started as a screenwriter in the late 1920s. He continued to write many scenarios, including for SUN Yu and BU Wancang. In 1934 he directed his first feature film with LUO Mingyou, The Song of the Nation (1935), the latest film starring Ruan Lingyu. He continued his career as a screenwriter and director before and during the war. In 1946 he moved to Hong Kong where he will be one of the best filmmaker in Mandarin Chinese after the war.
Dreams of Spring, his third film for the company Zhonghua Da, represents the idealistic liberal humanist conviction and fidelity to family values of Confucianism.