MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,244 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 11,691 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 49 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:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 15 Jul 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 04 Aug 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 31 Aug 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 08 Sep 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Wong Fei Hung" on Amazon.com

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.
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

Director: Randall Wallace
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich
Red Cliff (2008)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Director: John Woo
Stars: Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The anti-Ching patriots, under the guidance of Ho Kuang-han, have secretly set up their base in Canton, disguised as school masters. During a brutal Manchu attack, Lui manages to escape and... See full summary »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu
Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Lieh Lo, Chia Yung Liu
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly
Spartacus (1960)
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons
Seven Samurai (1954)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima
Ben-Hur (1959)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd
Apocalypto (2006)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw, a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate.

Director: Mel Gibson
Stars: Gerardo Taracena, Raoul Trujillo, Dalia Hernández
Gladiator (2000)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1905, revolutionist Sun Yat-Sen visits Hong Kong to discuss plans with Tongmenghui members to overthrow the Qing dynasty. But when they find out that assassins have been sent to kill him, they assemble a group of protectors to prevent any attacks.

Director: Teddy Chan
Stars: Xueqi Wang, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Jun Hu
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Seven years after the apparent death of Chen Zhen, who was shot after discovering who was responsible for his teacher's death (Huo Yuanjia) in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. A mysterious ... See full summary »

Director: Wai-keung Lau
Stars: Donnie Yen, Alex Ahlstrom, Qi Shu
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Biao Yuen ...
Rosamund Kwan ...
Jacky Cheung ...
Steve Tartalia ...
Tiger
Kent Cheng ...
Jonathan Isgar ...
Jackson
Shi-Kwan Yen ...
Iron Robe Yim (as Yee Kwan Yan)
Mark King ...
British general
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bruce Fontaine ...
Policeman
Shun Lau ...
Naval Commander
Kien Shih ...
Old man who gives advise (Cameo)
Yuan-fa Tsao
Chien-Po Tsen
Chi Yeung Wong ...
Commander Man
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

Jet Li badly damaged his knee when Wong Fei Hung jumps out of the tea shop using his umbrella. For this reason a lot of the final fight was performed while Li was in plaster, meaning he had to be doubled for some of the moves. A lot of the shots are from the waist and above, to hide his plaster. See more »

Goofs

Wong Fei-hung fights for several minutes under heavy rain, however when he gets kicked into his house, his clothes and hair are dry. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Mulan (1998) 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 16 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:
?