MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,281 this week

Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
"Wong Fei Hung" (original title)

7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 13,053 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 52 critic

Set in late 19th century Canton this martial arts film depicts the stance taken by the legendary martial arts hero Wong Fei-Hung (1847-1924) against foreign forces' (English, French and ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

, (as Pik-yin Tang) , 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 19 Jun 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 17 Sep 2013
 
a list of 49 titles
created 01 Jan 2014
 
a list of 22 titles
created 22 Jul 2014
 
a list of 40 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Once Upon a Time in China (1991)

Once Upon a Time in China (1991) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Once Upon a Time in China.

User Polls

4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jet Li stars in this comic spectacle as a Chinese "Robin Hood" who stumbles upon a kidnapping scheme after unwittingly opening a martial arts school next to a brothel!

Directors: Jing Wong, Woo-Ping Yuen
Stars: Jet Li, Sharla Cheung, Dicky Cheung
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Brand new epic adventure set during a tumultuous time in China, when left without a leader, the cavalry is attacked by the powerful allies and pirate bands. A martial arts master, Wong ... See full summary »

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Wenzhuo Zhao, Rosamund Kwan, Siu Chung Mok
The Legend (1993)
Action | Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This Hong Kong martial-arts extravaganza tells of evil emperors and true love. The secret Red Lotus Flower Society is committed to the overthrow of the evil Manchu Emperor and his minions. ... See full summary »

Director: Corey Yuen
Stars: Jet Li, Josephine Siao, Michelle Reis
The Master (1989)
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Uncle Tak, the old martial-arts master and medicine in normal life has severe problems with his former student Jonny, who wants nothing more than to kill his old master to show everyone who... See full summary »

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Jet Li, Wah Yuen, Crystal Kwok
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1937, a Chinese martial artist returns to Shanghai to find his teacher dead and his school harassed by the Japanese.

Director: Gordon Chan
Stars: Jet Li, Shinobu Nakayama, Siu-Ho Chin
Action | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

With an entirely new set of actors, this movie continues the story from Swordsman (1990). Blademaster and his martial arts school decide to retire to a distant mountain. Before leaving, he ... See full summary »

Directors: Siu-Tung Ching, Stanley Tong
Stars: Jet Li, Brigitte Lin, Michelle Reis
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two friends ex Shaolin monks part ways as they brush with the ongoing rebellion against the government. The ambitious one rise up to e a powerful military commander, while his betrayed friend resorts to learn the calm ways of Tai Chi.

Director: Woo-Ping Yuen
Stars: Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Siu-Ho Chin
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The Tang emperor is betrayed by one of his generals, who installs himself as emperor in the East Capital. The son of one of his slave workers escapes to the Shaolin Temple, learns kung fu, ... See full summary »

Director: Hsin-Yen Chang
Stars: Jet Li, Lan Ding, Jianqiang Hu
The Legend II (1993)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The Cantonese hero Fong Sai Yuk becomes involved in the secret brotherhood "The Red Flower", who are trying to overthrow the Manchurian emperor and re-establishing the Ming dynasty. The ... See full summary »

Director: Corey Yuen
Stars: Jet Li, Josephine Siao, Adam Cheng
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young father and his infant son are beset by forces of evil and corruption. They wander China, upholding their sense of honor and protecting the weak. When they are forced into combat, ... See full summary »

Directors: Jing Wong, Corey Yuen
Stars: Jet Li, Chingmy Yau, Deannie Yip
Dragon Fight (1989)
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two martial artist friends from China are performing a show in the States. Trouble starts when one of them decides to defect and stay in America.

Director: Hin Sing 'Billy' Tang
Stars: Jet Li, Dick Wei, Nina Li Chi
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the sequel to the Tsui Hark classic, Wong Fei-Hung faces The White Lotus society, a fanatical cult seeking to drive the Europeans out of China through violence, even attacking Chinese ... See full summary »

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Jet Li, Rosamund Kwan, Siu Chung Mok
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Biao Yuen ...
Rosamund Kwan ...
...
Kent Cheng ...
Kam-Fai Yuen ...
Kai
Shi-Kwan Yen ...
Iron Robe Yim (as Yee Kwan Yan)
Shun Lau ...
Naval Commander Lau
Ma Wu ...
Jian-Guo Chiu ...
Shaho Gang Leader
Cheung-Yan Yuen ...
Yim's Opponent
Chi Yeung Wong ...
Commander Man
Shun-Yee Yuen ...
Honorable Manchu Soldier
Xin Xin Xiong ...
Shaho Gang Member
Jonathan Isgar ...
Jackson
Edit

Storyline

Set in late 19th century Canton this martial arts film depicts the stance taken by the legendary martial arts hero Wong Fei-Hung (1847-1924) against foreign forces' (English, French and American) plundering of China. When Aunt Yee arrives back from America totally westernised, Wong Fei-Hung assumes the role of her protector. This proves to be difficult when his martial arts school and local militia become involved in fierce battles with foreign and local government. As violence escalates even Aunt Yee has to question her new western ideals, but is it possible to fight guns with Kung Fu? Written by Michele Wilkinson, University of Cambridge Language Centre, <mw125@cus.cam.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Never was a Hero needed more...


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 August 1991 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Once Upon a Time in China  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Wong Fei-hung was a famous practitioner of hung gar kung fu, although the techniques Jet Li uses are mostly of the long fist method and tai chi. See more »

Goofs

When Master Yim And Wong Fei-Hung fights on top of the latter's, they hit their feet together. When Master Yim does the back-flip, a wire is clearly seen holding him up. See more »

Quotes

Wong Fei Hung: Why so many swords and daggers on the table?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Musketeer (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Great martial film, too ambitious with all its intended messages
26 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie, directed by Tsui Hark, embodied some of the best Kong-fu fight sequences to be found anywhere in the entire genre. Not only were the fights choreographed with amazing skill and dexterity, there was also supreme creativity and use of forces at work here. The angle placement of the camera was always effective and the fight scenes between the hero and his enemies are set up with admirable presence and dignity. Furthermore, the editing was bold and crisp; for the most part everything flowed very well from one scene to the next. Jet Li was unparalleled in his martial arts glamour. His stern demeanor accentuated his role as a leader and a man of principle.

Jet Li played Wong Feihong, a doctor who also happened to be renowned for his skill in martial arts. Against his will, he became involved in combating the local gang, whose rivalry and antagonism was set up by a flimsy pretext. (Apparently gang violence usually are created over the most trifle of instances) On the one hand, Feihong, had to deal with the local thugs, on the other, he had to deal with government officials and foreign mercenaries.

Along for the ride were some touching characters playing Wong Feihong's students, the stuttering Western-educated nerd and the formidably huge pork merchant. The addition of Aunt 13 to the cast added shy romance, providing a nice contrast to all the fighting and constant strife and chaos.

The movie featured a convincing historical backdrop and captured the national Chinese character well, at least, the 19th century, pre-Communist era. The music score was very nicely done and complemented the film well. At times, the movie evoked as much emotion as the characters themselves.

The only problem with this film may be its overly ambitious goals of trying to tackle everything at once. There was the sentiment of saving China from "foreign devils" as well as the sentiment that China was rotting and corrupt at its core, with the Chinese betraying the Chinese. There was also the strong sense of there being too few good men like Wong Feihong, with a strong desire to do right by his country. Over all, the movie's message was multi-layered and complex and can be confusing to the unschooled audience.

Still, this movie, made in 1991, showed off Jet Li's lyrical martial arts grace in full glory and in its best moments, takes fighting to a transcendent level.


13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
5 best fight scenes ever fryman3
strong racist overtones apchar
Haircut uma_isthebride
Aunt 13??? repeater123
Theme Music From OUATIC Is The Best coreyterminator
Jet's leg lock oysarl
Discuss Once Upon a Time in China (1991) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?