Peking Opera Blues (1986)
"Do ma daan" (original title)

TV-14  |   |  Comedy, Action  |  6 September 1986 (Hong Kong)
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Reviews: 16 user | 8 critic

The movie is set in chaotic 1920's China, when warlords fought each other for power while Sun Yat-Sen's underground movement tried to establish a democratic republic. The movie tells the ... See full summary »



(as To Kwok Wai)
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6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Yeh ...
Pat Neil
Cherie Chung ...
Mark Cheng ...
Ling Pak-Hoi
Kwok Keung Cheung ...
Tung Man
General Tsao
Feng Ku ...
Commander Liu
Ma Wu ...
Paul Chun ...
Po-Chih Leong ...
Mr. Kam
Kwok Chi Tsang ...
Comander liu's man
Hoi Sang Lee ...
Soldier with Moustache
Ha Huang ...
General Tun
Yin Szema ...
Ms. Choi
Ching Tien ...


The movie is set in chaotic 1920's China, when warlords fought each other for power while Sun Yat-Sen's underground movement tried to establish a democratic republic. The movie tells the story of three young women and two young men who are thrown together. One young woman grabs a box of jewels during the looting when one warlord takes Peking. A deserting soldier joins her, but the jewels end up at the Peking Opera. Here we meet the daughter of the head of the troupe, who dreams of being an actress. But even female roles are played by men in the opera. Soon, the daughter of the currently ruling warlord and a male agent of the democratic underground are involved. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Action


TV-14 | See all certifications »





Release Date:

6 September 1986 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Knife Horse Dawn  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


About 25 minutes in, when Tso-Wan (Brigitte Lin) cranks the Rolls Royce to start it, the sound track has the sound of a starter motor cranking an engine. See more »


Remade as All About Women (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

A carousel of colors and suspenseful (yet, sometimes improbable) situations, all for the sake of the republic!
27 March 2004 | by (Milano, Italy) – See all my reviews

In Peking Opera Blues, director Tsui Hark takes us back to 1913 China: daughter of the general Tsao-Wan [Lin Ching Hsia] is torn between the love for her father, who plans to secure a loan from the Europeans in order to aid president Yuan, and the support for a rebellious group, who see in Yuan's leadership a peril for the republic and therefore plan to unmask him by stealing the loan papers and handing them to the congress.

The movie follows the deeds of three women, different by social class (one is daughter of the general, another one a greedy street musician whose goal is to get rich and leave China, the third one a theatre performer - or, more precisely, an aspiring theatre performer, as acting at the time was only allowed to men) and, yet, put together by Fate. As the three eventually join forces, we get to see a lot of colorful Peking Opera performing, as well as amusing and endearing situations. The movie, indeed, deals with the problems of mutual trust and loyalty, especially in those situations when the ideals come to clash against the personal ambitions.

The only aspect of the movie I was a bit put off by is the ease with which the group is always able to escape the most dangerous situations. Even the hardest-to-die Bruce Willis would have been puzzled on how to leave the mansion... and Spiderman himself would need more than one try to leap successfully from a mansion to the top of a tower! Apart from this, Peking Opera Blues is a beautiful movie, more over enriched by a gripping soundtrack, dazzling theatre choreography and, most of all, an intense story that is sure to make you smile with joy at some moments and shiver with terror in other circumstances. 8/10

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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this is tsui harks greatest film! Trigonias
UK Version? ninjaalexs
no in print NTSC Region 1 DVD? a shame grant-132
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