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

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 11,907 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 50 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 »

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Title: Once Upon a Time in China (1991)

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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

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

15 August 1991 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Once Upon a Time in China  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the commentary on the Region 1 DVD, this movie started out as a proposed new film to star Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Biao. Jackie would have played Wong, (which he'd previously played in Drunken Master), Sammo would have played Butcher Wing (as he did in Lin Shi Rong), and Yuen would be Lueng Foon (who played the role in Lin Shi Rong). This idea fell through and only Yuen Biao made it into the finished film. 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

Yim: No matter how good our kung-fu is, it will never defeat guns.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Matrix (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Stand-out
15 December 2004 | by (Brisbane, Australia.) – See all my reviews

Brilliantly made martial-arts film about legendary Chinaman Wong Fei-hung. One of the only movies in it's genre to really create a cast of meaningful characters that do not merely lay by the way side of the best martial artist (obviously Jet Li).

It is excellently shot and acted with a sensible balance of action and drama - although it does have a tendency to lay things on quite thick, what with excessively dramatic music and over-signified sequences.

Overall it is a very original film, and is set among the interesting clash of the British and Chinese cultures. Slightly "magical" kung-fu sequences may turn Chan fans off, but otherwise it is mostly engaging.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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