Thousand Pieces of Gold is a 1991 romantic western based on a book of the same name written by Ruthanne Lum McCunn. The film chronicles the true life saga of Lalu (Rosalind Chao) who is sold into marriage by her impoverished family and sent to an Idaho gold-mining town. To her horror, Lalu finds that she has been sold to a saloon owner named Hong King (Michael Paul Chan) who renames her China Polly and intends to sell her virginity to the highest bidder. Refusing to accept her plight, Polly violently fends off her intended customers and strikes a deal with King to pay off her transport to the United States with a thousand pieces of gold. While working at the saloon, King's partner, Charlie Bemis (Chris Cooper), falls in love with Polly. When Polly refuses his advances, a twist of fate and a deck of cards forever change her destiny.